cover image Once upon a Line

Once upon a Line

Elliot Kreloff. Collective Book Studio, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-68555-004-2

As a plain black line seeks its purpose in life, puns provide possible answers in this picture book. Friends and relations offer suggestions in reply to Line’s repeated question, “What’s a line supposed to do?” Mom, a calligraphic flourish, says, “I’ve always just gone with the flow.” Dad, a thick brick, suggests “just go straight.” And pals such as Square, Rectangle, Triangle, and others each make recommendations based on their own features (“Work all the angles!” Octagon advises). Still unsettled, Line decides to “broaden his horizon,” traveling in every cardinal direction until finally discovering that he should make his “own mark.” Mixed-media collages form Line’s buddies, and patterned cut-outs come together in cheery scenes of Line’s travels, which questionably typecast (“Line went east. Very, very far east. Too spicy!”). If some of Line’s adventures seem solely designed as platforms for further punning, the jokes generally amuse. An end note discusses the book’s inspiration. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)