About the Book:
Title: Between the Lines
Author/Illustrator: Lindsay Ward
Pub. Date: October 1, 2021
Happy Book Birthday to Between the Lines written and illustrated by Lindsay Ward! Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour! Special thanks to Two Lions Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
A young boy recalls how the colors began fading from his neighborhood street.
A lightning storm not only takes the color away but also creates a split in the road that separates the community. As I read aloud the story to a kindergarten class, the kids were surprised with their mouths open when I turned the page and the color was gone. I asked them the questions that author/illustrator Ward poses on the page spread below. Like most 5 year olds, their responses to the first question was literal.
- “The rain made the colors go away.”
- “The lightning made a hole in the street and took away the colors.”
The answers to the second question showed their thinking skills.
- “I think the colors will come back because they will fix the hole.”
- “They look sad so if they fix the hole, they will be happy again, and then the colors will come back.”
As I continued reading, the kids immediately noticed that the boy and girl remained sad. When the boy stopped dreaming about the colors, he realized that he must take action.
From their windows, the community observes the boy’s initiative and determination and gradually joins him in repairing the crevice that divided them. When rain begins to fall, the boy’s and girl’s smiles fade but instead of going their separate ways, the community stands together. Their unity allows color to return and makes the community whole again. When I turned the page and the kids saw the color, they clapped. My heart melted seeing their excitement and hearing the sound of their happiness.
After the clapping ended, I revisited the question, “Why did the color come back?’ and the kindergarteners were bursting with their thoughts.
- “The boy started fixing the street and then everyone else helped.”
- “The boy was sad so he decided fixing the street would make him happy.”
One particular student was bubbling with lots of ideas while I was reading aloud. At the end of the story, she said, “They worked as a team and you know, teamwork makes the dream work! That’s why the colors came back.”
Wow! I was blown away by their thoughtful responses! Ward’s colorful and black and white illustrations are the perfect vehicle to teaching theme with our youngest learners. Kindergarteners could see easily the change in mood and feelings through the use (or absence) of color. We also discussed the importance of working together as a class family when there is a problem. Between the Lines is a picture book that promotes deep thinking at all ages.
Praise for Between the Lines!
“A vibrant neighborhood loses its color, literally, as the community becomes fractured.”
“The illustrations…bring the atmosphere and ideas of the story to life. The depictions of both isolation and community in a dense urban neighborhood are poignant, especially after a year when COVID-19 forced people worldwide to forgo, and then to reinvent, community togetherness.”
About the Author/Illustrator:
Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Rosie: Stronger than Steel; This Book Is Gray; Brobarians; Helping Hospital; the Wheels on the Go series; Rosco vs. the Baby; and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives with her family in Peninsula, Ohio with her family. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.