A Long Piece of String, by William Wondriska

As a general rule, I am opposed to wordless children’s books. It’s not that I don’t love creative storytelling-  I’ll often make up a short story along with whatever bedtime story I read- it’s that I feel put on the spot when I open a book to solid illustrations and no story. I know, I know, there are renowned wordless books out there. They’re just not for me.

For that matter, alphabet books get old really fast, too. I’ve noted here and here a couple of my favorites, but with only 26 letters, there’s just not a lot of variety.

But here I throw up my hands. I was wrong. I see the error of my ways. Today’s book is both wordless (ack!) and an alphabet book (whaaa?).

A Long Piece of String, drawn by graphic designer William Wondriska, was originally published in 1963 and was re-released in 2010. I love a good vintage reprinting.

A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska- from ameliesbookshelf.comMuch like the Follow the Line books, we simply follow the string from page to page. It wraps around something on each page and keeps going on to the next.

A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska- from ameliesbookshelf.comHere’s the kicker: each thing the string wraps around? Yup. Alphabetical. Each simple but bold red graphic goes in order, from alligator (of course) to zipper (what else?) but with a few surprises thrown in. In fact, realizing that there was even an alphabetical theme was a surprise. I just bought it because I thought the illustrations were so gorgeous- but my children were both delighted to realize that there was a relationship between the pictures.

A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska- from ameliesbookshelf.comThe last page reads “What do you have on your string?” and consistently prompts a slew of gleeful responses around here.

What books do you try to stay away from? Have you found yourself pleasantly surprised by being in the wrong?

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And don’t forget you can buy the book here!

8 thoughts on “A Long Piece of String, by William Wondriska

  1. You know, if you like to put awards up I nominated you for a Leibster Award in March or so. If you want to claim it, it is still yours! And you have a little space to the right into which it would fit nicely.


      • This was the only award I “accepted” – I am a lazy soul – It was so much work to respond and nominate my group – silly that it seemed like too much work! I don’t like to have any awards on my site – really I am a nut about having my illustrations being as wide as possible – that means nothing to the right or left. Silly me I should be able to find a way to do that and fit everything else in nicely. I will go find the nomination and come back to let you find it too. Please don’t feel you have to accept – just seems you might like to.


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