Review – How Long is a Piece of String? by Madeleine Meyer

Where do dogs wander to in the dark of night? How tall is a ladder to an exotic land? Will unusual creatures help guide you to your destination? How long is a piece of string? Don’t know the answers? Well, it’s all up to your imagination!  

how-long-is-a-piece-of-stringIn similarity to those that leave the stories up to the viewer’s interpretation, ‘How Long is a Piece of String?’ by Madeleine Meyer is another wordless book that guides the adventure through its’ pictures.

81+v1JCtv5LOf late, included in the list is ‘The Umbrella’ by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert; boasting stunning artwork of landscapes and imagery that take you on a visual adventure with a dog and an umbrella.
Book Island, March 2015.

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51CPxCt64eL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The first of Aaron Becker‘s in his wordless picture book series was ‘Journey’; a beautifully imaginative story about a girl finding herself almost lost in translation with only but a red crayon to proceed, as she daringly rescues a purple bird.
Candlewick, August 2013.

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516h8CV6uYL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_And second in the trilogy is Aaron Becker’s ‘Quest’; which sees the return of the original characters, including the purple bird. The children draw their way through this captivating, yet perilous adventure in their quest to glory.
Candlewick, July 2014.  

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Author and illustrator, Madeleine Meyer, is a sculptural and visual artist; who is now turning her passion for illustrating into books. With her quirky yet enchanting fine pen and ink hatching techniques, and minimal pops of colour on white backgrounds, there is plenty to peruse and get hypnotised with in ‘How Long is a Piece of String?’

How long is a piece of string imageA young boy awakes to the sound of his dog barking outside his window, and upon turning the page, we discover an enormous ball of string awaiting to be unraveled. Ready for the journey ahead, the boy sets off in search of his dog, clenching tightly to the red string that is his lifeline back to safety. He endures long, treacherous travels through mysterious cities, trudges over monumental expanses, and encounters curious and extraordinary beings, until at last he is reunited with his four-legged friend. A large flying fish charters the boy and his dog back across this unparalleled universe to home, and then it is time for bed.

‘How Long is a Piece of String?’ is a wondrous and fantastical depiction of what true companionship and dedication means. It literally outlines a whimsical world with the added ability to tug on your heart-strings, no matter how long. A ‘different’ book experience suitable for primary school aged children.  
Windy Hollow Books, 2014.