Book Review - A Long Piece of String

Author/Illustrator: William Wondriska
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 25, 2010)
Ages: 4 to 8 years old
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:

Look! A long piece of string. Let's follow it! Stunning in both its boldness and simplicity, this rediscovered classic by distinguished graphic designer William Wondriska, originally published in 1963, leads readers on a clever journey of discovery and delight.

There truly is a simplicity with this book that moves it into a whole other category. When I first held Wondriska's A Long Piece of String in my hands, I sensed this was something unique. As I turned the pages, I was greeted by a wordless story told basically by a piece of black string that leads the reader through a journey of illustrations. Each picture represents a different letter of the alphabet with this dark inky thread tying it together.

The simplicity of this re-issued 47 year old book is also in the dichromatic pages contrasting black string with orange-red illustrations. I couldn't help but chuckle at some of the depictions. A skeleton key for the letter K, or the old gas station for the letter G. However, most of the other pictures really stand the test of time. The jet plane looks remarkably similar to it's present day counterpart, and an alligator is still an alligator.

For those individuals who particularly enjoy collecting alphabet books, I would strongly recommend adding Wondriska's A Long Piece of String to their collection. As for teachers or parents, A Long Piece of String can be used to facilitate a conversation between adult and child about similarities shared by a present day alphabet book and one with a different history.