The Longest, Strongest Thread
Inbal Leitner, author-illustrator
Inbal Leitner studied classic animation at Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem. She uses varied techniques such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor, printmaking, collage and mixed media in her artwork. Inbal lives in Cambridge, England, with her family.
Read more about Inbal.
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Saying goodbye to Grandma before a big move is hard.
Grandma’s cozy sewing studio is filled with snug bolts of fabric and endless spools of thread. The child narrator, whose family is moving to “where the lakes freeze in winter,” will miss Grandma very much. Grandma busies herself sewing a special project while her grandchild plays with fabric scraps to ease anxiety. First, tiny hands create a small map so Grandma always knows the way to the new house. Then, because it is so far away, a lumpy little airplane is stitched so Grandma always has transportation. The youngster imagines holding a strong magnet that will pull Grandma (and her sewing pins) directly to the child whenever needed. Grandma’s strong, capable hands make a warm coat for those cold winter months, and Grandma gently explains while sewing the final button, “We are connected by the longest, strongest thread in the whole world.” Circles of blue swoop around the two; another spread shows Grandma holding one end of a thread and the child holding the other. Fabric textures and layers saturate the art, standing out starkly against the vast, white backdrop, with bold yet soothing pops of yellow and blue standing out. Grandma and her grandchild have skin that’s the white of the paper. The idea of people being linked by a thread of connection isn’t new, but it’s comforting just the same.
Deeply woven with love.
A little girl and her grandmother love one another dearly and are saddened that the little girl is moving far away. The little girl is worried that the grandmother won’t know where to find her. She desperately wishes her grandmother can join them, but sadly she cannot. She draws maps for her grandmother, showing her exactly how to find her once she moves. The little girl and the grandmother spend time together in the grandmother’s sewing studio. As they sew the little girl new clothes, the grandmother uses the sewing thread as a metaphor. She tells the little girl that they are tied together by the longest, strongest thread, and are tethered forever in their hearts. The little girl knows that her grandmother will use both her special map and the thread, to secure them together forever, and that her grandmother will find her again. This book is a calm, sweet story about a grandmother and her grandchild and the love that binds them together. It is perfect for preschool and early elementary students to help them understand separation anxiety or moving away from a loved one. Children will connect to the simple prose and understand the characters’ feelings easily. The artwork is done in gentle watercolor, clearly showing the character’s actions and emotions. This book would be a welcome addition to a preschool or early elementary classroom. Children will enjoy reading this book on their own.
Page count: 32
9 1/2 x 9 1/2