A little girl gets on a train at her home in the city to travel to her grandmother's house in the country. During this journey, she ponders all of the things the adults in her life tell her are impossible, yet as she looks out the window of the train, she only sees what is possible.
Despite questioning whether
the adult themes of this book (travel, finding yourself in the world) and the philosophical nature of the text
would work with reading to kids, I absolutely adored the story and
illustrations of Line 135. At first our little protagonist looks out the window and sees normal "daily life"
sorts of things, but as she begins dreaming and longing to see the
world, suddenly what she sees out her window becomes much more
Albertine's simple (yet complex) line illustrations with the
train's pop of color on each page-spread are quite striking and lend themselves to several read-throughs to take in all of the detail. I'm not
usually someone who likes to re-read books, but as soon as I finished the book the first time, I knew I'd have to read it again and again to really
take in how the illustrations complement the story, which reads like a free verse poem.
I'm going to guess this book probably isn't on anyone's Caldecott shortlist, but it's on mine. Heck, I don't even think Albertine lives in the U.S. (a requirement to be considered for a Caldecott) since there are some parts of the illustrations that are in French, but I just love the way the text and the illustrations complement each other and I love that despite the minimalist manner in which the drawings are rendered, they have such a complexity to them that several read-throughs are required to really take it all in.
by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine
Published: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Picture Book
Audience: Children AND Adults
Disclosure: Library Copy