A wordless musing on the nature of disagreements and friendship.
Two children, of differing skin tones, one with a shock of black hair and the other with a shock of light, draw lines on the ground. Loops and folds curl round each other until—amid a smack of violet watercolor backdrop—the lads bump into each other. Rueful surprise turns into pure glee when the children realize that if they connect their lines they can pick them up and play. Otoshi’s landscape-oriented spreads make expert use of the book’s gutter, each child on either side, with only the line allowed to cross. Emotions change when one child accidentally knocks the other over (the angry violet cloud appears again). Each tenaciously grabs hold of the line and pulls mightily. This fierce tug of war causes a crevice to appear in the gutter, feeding on anger, growing larger and larger. Clenched fists and taut muscles seethe with rage. But then, silence. The line they had been holding is now the horizon, with a spot of bright yellow peeking through the violet. One moment is all that is needed to choose to let go, mend rifts, and walk into future possibilities with a friend. Otoshi’s fluid watercolors are sheer loveliness, surpassed only by her ability to communicate big concepts with no words.
A simple, beautiful concept whose reach grows with each rereading. (Picture book. 4-8)