August 17, 2015

Once Upon a Line

by Wallace Edwards
Pajama Press
32 pp.
Ages 6-9
On sale September 16, 2015

With Once Upon a Line, Wallace Edwards has catapulted himself and his books to the status of must-haves for any home, school or public library.  The USA may have Chris Van Allsburg and most notably The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, but teachers will now be scrambling to use Once Upon a Line instead as the go-to book for story-starters and creative writing projects based on intriguingly unique illustrations that get the creative juices flowing.  And it all starts with one simple and ordinary line.  This line by this pen:

In the introduction to the book, Wallace Edwards recounts the history of Great-Uncle George’s enchanted pen and a line–the line seen above and on the endpapers and in every illustration within–that was the basis for his many paintings, only a handful which exist today and are reproduced within the book.  And, as the reader is told, “Each painting is the beginning of a story, and every story begins with “Once upon a line.” Where each painting’s story goes is up to the reader’s imagination.

From the elaborate entranceway of a mouse to her home that helps her remember…something, someone, somewhere… to the race between the chicken and the egg “until the fluffy one began to…” and an equine-allergic knight who finds a solution, and a rain that brings joy to an elephant and a story from a seagull, Once Upon a Line is resplendent in its fantastical graphic details.   There’s a pajamaed kitten, birds and alligators, a dragon, lush greenery, royalty, a fish or two, several aliens, a compendium of zoological creatures and a variety of candy-kissed vehicles.  And of course, there’s handlebar-moustached and chin-goateed Great-Uncle George, a dashing magician who bears a striking ressemblance to a swashbuckling Musketeer.  And for those who must know where "the" line is in each illustration, Wallace Edwards has kindly appended the book with a cheat sheet to help locate it.

Once Upon a Line is so rich in its visual effects and textual texture that it deserves all the golden stars on its cover (as well as the golden cover font that I reproduced so poorly here) and more. I predict even more shining accolades in Once Upon a Line's future for Wallace Edwards.

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Don't miss a chance at meeting Wallace Edwards who is one of the invited writers attending the Eden Mills Writers' Festival on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  Who knows?  There may even be early release copies of Once Upon a Line on sale there.

1 comment:

  1. This looks gorgeous; I'm definitely adding it to my list!