As a baby, a young scribble begins to draw. As a grown-up Neat Line, it discovers a special talent.
Wriggling into a book of nursery rhymes, the Neat Line knows just how to help the troubled characters it meets, including a sleepy Little Boy Blue who needs his horn to summon the sheep and cows. And before the day is done, there's an ever-cranky Miss Muffet's menacing spider to scare off.
Pamela Duncan Edwards and Diana Cain Bluthenthal pair up for a clever visual journey through the classic rhymes of childhood.
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Pamela Duncan Edwards is the author of numerous popular picture books, including Livingstone Mouse; Roar! A Noisy Counting Book; Some Smug Slug; The Worrywarts; Clara Caterpillar; Wake-Up Kisses; Rosie's Roses; The Leprechaun's Gold; and Gigi and Lulu's Gigantic Fight, all illustrated by Henry Cole; as well as Dear Tooth Fairy, illustrated by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick; McGillycuddy Could!, illustrated by Sue Porter; and The Neat Line, illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal. She lives in Virginia.From School Library Journal:
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3–In this brilliantly creative romp through the land of Mother Goose, a baby scribble, after much practice, becomes a Neat Line and enters a book of nursery rhymes. (Youngsters may recognize their own struggles with print as they view Scribble's humorous transformation.) There the line helps Little Boy Blue corral his sheep and cows by drawing a horn; saves Jack and Jill from another fall by drawing a pathway up the hill; waters Mary's drooping flowers (contrary Mary is in a snit and refuses to do so herself) by drawing a rain cloud; and creates a bird to scare away the spider harassing Little Miss Muffet. Tired from its labors, the line draws itself into the Man in the Moon and goes to sleep. The relevant nursery-rhyme verse follows each of Neat Line's encounters with the distressed characters. "Leave it to me," says the confident line, as it proceeds to draw itself into the problem-solving object. The large cartoon paintings, many of them spreads, are appropriately outlined with thick, bold lines and are framed by book pages on either side. This resourceful Neat Line deserves to take its place beside Peter H. Reynolds's The Dot (Candlewick, 2003) and Carole Lexa Schaefer's The Squiggle (Crown, 1996) as it inspires readers to attempt ever more challenging rescues by adding more characters and drawings to the story. A thoroughly satisfying journey.–Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
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