From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Line 135 relates the physical and emotional journey of a child as she travels via elevated train from her home in the city to her grandmother's country home. "There are two places I belong in the world" she tells readers as she boards the Day-Glo green and orange train, which provides the only color among the delicately outlined black-and-white scenery. The exquisite line work and sense of whimsy are reminiscent of Edward Gorey's style minus the macabre. The narrator's tiny face is visible in the window as the train travels through landscapes both mundane and surreal. As the youngster progresses, she relates her intentions to know the world despite being told that she's too young and naive to desire such a thing. Children will relate to the narrator as she both yearns to understand the adult world and determines to pave her own path. The first page is blank except for a pair of small figures holding hands and marching along the horizon line; the youngster leads the way, eagerly gesturing forward toward the rest of the story. On the final spread, the same spare layout provides readers a place to reflect as the girl joyfully follows her grandmother and gestures backward to where she came from. Pair this book with Frank Viva's Along a Long Road (Little, Brown, 2011) for two truly elegant linear journeys, both of which provide a breath of fresh air to picture-book collections.-Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, White Bear Lake, MNα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A mother and daughter walk along a plane made of a simple line to board a waiting train. The little girl’s journey to visit her grandmother starts out in the vaulted, crowded lines of the city, replete with grids of windows and billboards, and continues onward, slowly stripping the simple black lines away, layer by layer. The train cruises by industrial areas, highways, and suburbs, over lakes and fields, and even through gentle, unaggressively fantastical environments, before letting the girl off at a rural station, where her grandmother waits to take her home across that same simple line. The delicate, complex, and utterly enthralling line work serves to exemplify the power and clarity of the visuals, offering a mathematically precise picture of environments without sacrificing beauty or wonder. The girl offers quietly thoughtful narration, dreaming of exploring the world despite the doubts of her adults, even as the bright green and orange train speeds her along like a blazing engine of imagination. Beyond a uniquely gorgeous piece of art, Line 135 has numerous and unusual curricular possibilities, from neighborhood studies to urban planning, from art classes to design, like a line of visual possibility that extends into the infinite horizon. Grades K-3. --Jesse Karp