Lee, Suzy. Lines. Suzy Lee, Illus. Picture Book. Chronicle, 09/2017. 34pp. $17.99. 978-1-4521-5665-1. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-2.
In this transcendent wordless picture book, Korean book artist Suzy Lee considers the parallel challenges and pleasures of drawing and ice skating. A lone girl with straight black hair and rosy cheeks, clad in a red winter hat and matching mittens, glides confidently across the white expanse of a frozen pond, while a solitary artist uses a sharp pencil to sketch the lines of her turns, spirals, spins, and jumps. When the girl finally takes a spill and her hat goes flying, the artist’s paper is seen crumpled into a ball. But soon, the paper is smoothed out again and the skater’s story moves along in an unexpected way, leading to a joyful conclusion for both artist and protagonist. With pencil, red crayon, and a rubber eraser, Lee creates illustrations that are minimalist yet texture-rich. The book’s cover resembles the smooth shimmering surface of ice with a shiny lacquer coating, and both the handwritten title and author’s name are incorporated into the artwork, etched like lines carved by an ice skate’s sleek blade. This picture book is a simple yet profoundly moving work of art that will appeal to audiences of all ages, especially preschoolers through second grade.
April Hayley, San Anselmo Public Library