Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tripping on life

The academic school year is just underway and Line 135 by Germano Zullo is a great reminder about possibilities.

A little girl is on a train journey to visit her grandmother who lives in the country.  As she passes through the city landscape and countryside, she’s excited to think that one day she will be big enough to travel the whole world.

Is doesn't matter that both her mother and grandmother try to tone down her dream by telling her that that’s impossible, that she’s too small, and  that knowing yourself is hard enough.

But our intrepid future traveler will not be denied.  She holds firmly to her belief that once she’s big enough she will go everywhere, here, there, this way, that way and see the entire world.  She’ll prove to her mother and grandmother that it is possible and that they've only forgotten this.

It’s one of those stories that works for many ages because it captures very childlike thoughts but with a sophisticated overlying meaning about not forgetting what is possible.

The line found in the title of the book is the train line of course, the line that passes through varying landscapes, journeys and ultimately, lives.  To heighten this awareness of lines, all the illustrations are composed of highly detailed, thin, black line drawings.  The only colour is the brightly hued train.

Another book that I've written about  that came to mind when I read Line 135 is Stormy Night by Michele Lemieux.  Both share the same kind of line drawings and kind of touches on the questioning and questing that goes on in the minds of young people. 

One other book that twigged was the Lost Thing by Shaun Tan which touches on how we can lose our ability to see and take pleasures in our lives as we grow older.  (Click here to see past blog.)  Line 135 is less melancholy focused on a world filled with possibilities.


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