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Skunk on a String

by Thao Lam

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list price: $9.99
also available: Hardcover
published: 2016
publisher: Owlkids Books Inc.
  • , Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • , Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2016
  • , Nominated for Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
  • , Toronto Public Library's First and Best 2016 list selection
  • , Selected to represent Canada in the Silent Books Exhibit, 3rd Edition
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The highly anticipated wordless picture book from debut author and collage artist Thao Lam
"Wordless... colorful... hilarious." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
In Skunk on a String, we meet a skunk who has been tied to the tail of a balloon. Try as he might, the persistent critter can’t get anyone to untie him. In this wordless story, he is shooed and swatted through a bustling parade, past the windowpanes of the city’s apartment buildings with their diverse, busy inhabitants, then up to the construction cranes high above the city. He floats through the zoo, into traffic, under water, and eventually lands atop a Ferris wheel. When he finally unties himself, the skunk misses the aerial life — so he comes up with an inspired way to fly again.
Paper collage art in whimsical colors and patterns — polka dots, gingham, and florals —creates a playful dynamic and brilliantly captures details of urban life, from the legs of a crowd to window boxes, spilled ice cream, and clothing flapping on clotheslines. This heartwarming, highly visual adventure takes a new vantage point on the ordinary and shows the skunk expanding his horizons, overcoming adversity, and, eventually, helping himself.

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Editorial Reviews

"An interactive delight... Highly recommended."

— Canadian Review of Materials

"Colorful collages present a pleasing balance of white space, interesting patterns, bright solids, and stylized shapes. (Well-read readers will find subtle references to Eric Carle.) [Thao Lam] orchestrates suspense and comedy...there are multiple reasons to return to the beginning, not the least of which is the impulse to figure out how to mimic such clever compositions."

— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"The skunk's changing emotions are easy to read, and the possibilities of flight are thoroughly and playfully explored."

— Publishers Weekly

"The varied scenes and Skunk's comic expressions will keep the youngest readers entertained, offering gentle thrills and plenty of laughs as they observe his unusual predicament."

— Booklist

"Features clever collage illustrations in bright colours and patterns that expertly move the tale along... With its light and funny story, Skunk on a String is certain to get laughs out of kids of all ages."

— Canadian Children's Book News

"Skunk on a String's delightful storyline relies on visual literacy, thus making it accessible to readers at even the earliest stages of their reading journey."

— The National Reading Campaign

"It's fun to see where the skunk goes... There aren't any words in this book but you know what's happening because the pictures tell the story. I love this book."

— Liesel, Age 4, Kids Book Buzz
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About the Author

Thao Lam

THAO LAM is the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of Wallpaper, My Cat Looks Like My Dad, and Skunk on a String. She studied illustration at Sheridan College and has an insatiable love of colored and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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