Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FRAN LEWIS REVIEW - JUST LINE AROUND BY KINSY MCVAY

Just Line Around

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Did you ever consider how it feels to be a line? Did you ever think about the life or plight of a line? There are long lines, short lines, medium lines, curved, lines and so many things that you can do with a pencil, pen or even a crayon to make a line. Meet Stew: He is a very special line. He’s going to tell you about himself and the amazing experience he had when all of a sudden he realized that there is a whole other world out there for him. Being a horizontal line, lying straight on his back he really never gets to see the world from many different perspectives. Stew never realized that lines have many different opportunities to and limitless possibilities when trying to become unique, different and explore new avenues to make their lives more exciting and interesting. Who would think that a mere hiccup would be the start of something creative, innovative and meaningful and change the course of the life or direction of this wonderful horizontal line.

A line can be as long or as short as you want it to be. After all you are the one creating it. Stew has no end points. He can do more than just lie there in a horizontal position. So, how does his life change as a result of a simple hiccup? Wait and see! Well! For one thing he is no longer completely straight. Part of him looks like a small hill turned upside down and right side up. He thought this was great. So, he tried hiccupping even more and now he looks that a whole bunch of waves or ripples in the ocean. How cool is that!

But, Stew was not satisfied with just being flat or wave. Like all kids that learn a new game or play with a new toy, he tried doing other things. First, he skipped and turned himself into zigzag lines or a bunch of large and small tents. Happy with his progress and creativity he jumped up and down with joy and would you believe this horizontal line is now a vertical line standing straight and tall. But, author Kinsy Mcvay decided that kids need to know that Stew’s imagination as well as there is limitless. Imagine the endless possibilities of a simple line. You can make swirls, mountains, loops, zigzags, thick and thin lines and so much more. Using black marker drawings he created these thick and thin lines on page 30 and then turned our Stew into a tree, a balloon and the rest you will have to read for yourself because I am so excited about all of the things that Stew turned into I do not want to spoil it for the reader who needs to learn about the other fun things Stew becomes. Will Stew keep on hopping, skipping, running and hiccupping in order to try new things, become different things and explore the world more on his own? Will he decide to go back to being just a horizontal line or is that no longer enough for him? I cannot reveal that because I will never tell because there is no end to any line and I have not come to the end of Stew’s line because he has so much more to go and many more shapes, forms and sizes to explore.

What kind of line am I? I am definitely not a straight line. I am line filled with waves, curves, loops, zigs and zags changing as my mood changes. Sometimes I stand up straight and when I am tired I am lie down flat and take a break and rest.

This is a great book to teach children the properties of a line and how to use this simple form to create so many different things. The vocabulary is simple and the idea so creative that kids can write their own stories and adventures for Stew. They can even create their own straight line, name it and write their own version of this create book: Just Line Around. Doodling is fun. Scribbling can be creative. Just think about the fact that without lines we would not have letters, numbers and words. Without this Kinsy Mcvay we would not have this innovative, brilliantly written book.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

I never give stars to books except on Amazon: this book gets Five Horizontal Lines named Stew to hopefully enjoy some more adventures.