The World’s Longest Licorice Rope

Random House Studio. Jul. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593180013.
Gr 1-2–When a mysterious girl offers a young boy, Ben, the unique chance to spend his hard-earned nickel to follow the world’s longest licorice rope, he seizes the opportunity, wherever it may take him. Readers, who will encounter very small typeface with some higher vocabulary on the journey, will laugh at what the rest of Ben’s bag of nickels pays for along the way, like a carrot costume to escape a lion, as he traipses around the world. However, the surprise ending reveals how money can pay for different experiences, but making a new friend—or two—is priceless. Myers’s strong ink outlines and minimally applied watercolor dyes immediately focus the eyes on the scenes, all the action, and world landmarks; while essential, the inflexibly straight line of red licorice appears as a slightly jarring element from the otherwise thin, brushlike illustrative style.
VERDICT This pleasant, unpredictable journey leads to a satisfying ending that sparks a gentle reminder that friends are invaluable.

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