THE NEAT LINE by Pamela Duncan Edwards


Scribbling Through Mother Goose
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


An enterprising little line grows up from a scribble and (once it achieves “neat”ness) makes its way through a volume of nursery rhymes, solving the characters’ problems along the way. Thus, it draws a horn for Little Boy Blue to blow, a path for Jack and Jill to proceed safely down the hill, a cloud to rain on Contrary Mary’s garden, and a bird to scare away Miss Muffet’s spider. Blumenthal’s mixed-media illustrations are bright and appropriately simple, the Neat Line rendered as a line drawn with a cheery smile at the end. Edwards’s text is not without humor, but forces the conceit at times: While the path for Jack and Jill makes perfect sense, Mary’s flowers’ unhappiness is arbitrarily caused by Mary’s neglect, which does not arise naturally from the rhyme. The concept of a neat line in itself is in tune with young children’s attempts to master writing and drawing, but this one simply does not generate enough force of character to make a compelling protagonist. Cute, but lacking in the wit and vision of other recent works that deconstruct the notion of The Book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-623970-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005


ChildrenFOUR SEASONS OF FUN by Pamela Duncan Edwards
by Pamela Duncan Edwards
ChildrenTHE PRINCESS PIGTORIA AND THE PEA by Pamela Duncan Edwards
by Pamela Duncan Edwards
ChildrenWHILE THE WORLD IS SLEEPING by Pamela Duncan Edwards
by Pamela Duncan Edwards


ChildrenA YEAR FULL OF HOLIDAYS by Susan Middleton Elya
by Susan Middleton Elya
ChildrenJUST IN CASE by Judith Viorst
by Judith Viorst
ChildrenA TIGER CALLED THOMAS by Charlotte Zolotow
by Charlotte Zolotow