BY A THREAD by Ned Dickens


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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Text and pictures burst with energy as a “toy box volcano” erupts and tosses Beo and her stuffed animals everywhere. One swings from a curtain; one grasps a blanket thread which is slowly unraveling. “And Beo (let’s whisper so’s not to distress her) / Had a teetery toehold on top of the dresser.” They work together to get down safely. One vanishes briefly (having slid inadvertently into the underwear drawer) and a rope of multicolored tights is hurled across the room for rescue purposes. Dickens’s tricky rhythm and rhyme are challenging but offer supreme satisfaction. The words themselves dance across the pages, tilting and curving in high spirits, changing size and color. Ross’s acrylic, collage and watercolor-pencil illustrations are mostly full-page close-ups, conveying the precarious mood and details but not the overall setup. White space on facing pages perfectly balances the pictures’ chaos. When everyone’s down, a joyful dance and a quest for lunch. If only toy-box volcanoes erupted everywhere. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 30th, 2005
ISBN: 1-55143-325-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005