THE LONG SILK STRAND by Laura E. Williams
Kirkus Star


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Though set in old Japan, this tale of intergenerational love and memory will be meaningful to any child who has been close to a grandparent. After her beloved grandmother dies, Yasuyo searches for a ball wound from many strands of silk thread, each representing a story from her grandmother's long life. She finds the thread hanging down from the sky, and she climbs it until she finds her grandmother in a realm above the clouds. Only the love of her parents and brother call Yasuyo to earth, although not without a piece of her grandmother's silk with which to begin her own ball of memories. Williams's first picture book, which reads well aloud, has the feel of an old folktale. The lovely illustrations are composed of cut paper and real silk thread, layered and photographed in such a way that shadows produce depth, a technique pioneered by David Wisniewski (Sundiata, 1992, etc.). Here, however, the textures and subtle colors of many different Japanese papers are much more important than intricacy of outline. The open, spacious page design thoughtfully ensures that text (printed in white if the background is dark) does not intrude on the illustrations. Fine stow, beautiful art, superior bookmaking.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1995
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills