CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 36. . . .May 20, 2016
Skunk on a String is a high-flying wordless adventure that effortlessly carries readers along on a comically amusing, visual journey. Through her vibrant artwork composed primarily of lively collages of textured and coloured layers of paper, Thao Lam ignites the imagination and encourages children’s individualized interpretations of illustrations through her textless approach to storytelling. Skunk on a String offers an intimate glimpse into a rather unusual day in the life of a skunk who, after accidentally becoming attached to the string of a large red balloon at a parade, floats helplessly from location to location, taking in the sites of the world around him and enthusiastically engaging with the human and non-human characters he encounters along the way. The skunk’s airborne voyage carries him through urban landscapes and across construction zones where he startles unexpected people going about their daily routines. A sudden change in altitude finds the protagonist drifting into a local zoo where he intermingles with animal residents and has a humorous encounter with an elephant. After an eventful landing inside the back of a garbage truck, the skunk soon finds himself transported to the sea where a brief underwater escapade sees him interacting with a group of rather astonished sea life. Finally, after drifting across dry, cactus-covered desert lands, the skunk arrives at a carnival theme park where he successfully dislodges himself from the balloon. After some brief reflection, he quickly realizes just how much he already misses travelling and proceeds to acquire a large cluster of balloons which carry him back up into the air towards an implied second, fun-filled journey.
Christina Quintiliani is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Education, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON., where she is researching children’s literature.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.