Line 135 by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine
The duo that created Little Bird have returned with another lovely and fanciful story. A little girl travels by train to her grandmother’s house. The train starts out in the towering city and we are told at the beginning that her grandmother lives in the country. The train travels from crowded cityscapes into more residential areas. The little girl talks about all of the traveling she wants to do when she gets older. As the pages turn, the landscape changes and eventually becomes very odd. Flowers grow as tall as the train, strange creatures stand near a pond, then the pond itself looks very much like a beast of some sort and readers will know that they are on a surprising trip too.
Imported from Switzerland, this book starts out as a quiet thoughtful book about being comfortable living in both the city and the country and a love of travel. Zullo’s text never changes from that musing tone, but it does speak to the right of a child to have opinions about how they want to live their lives.
The girl’s dreams and imagination come to life in the illustrations. The train is the sole zip of color on each page, while the surroundings are entirely in black and white fine-lined drawings. They are detailed and lovely and the change from reality to dream world is done slowly and with deft pacing.
This is a book that makes you want to start back at the beginning the minute you finish it so that you can see even more in the drawings. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.