Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
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.
About the author
THAO Lam has been creating pictures for as long as she can remember. For her, drawing has always felt as natural as breathing. She has an insatiable love for coloured and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. Passionate about children’s books, Thao is especially interested in visual storytelling. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. As an art buyer for an education publishing company, she has the opportunity to work with thousands of different artists from all around the world. Since studying illustration for three years at Sheridan College in Toronto, Thao has developed her dual careers of illustrating and art buying. Her art works have appeared in publications such as Cricket and Highlight magazines. In 2008, she won the Highlights Five Pewter Plate award for verse illustration of the year. She has twice been chosen for the American Illustration Award. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Unknown, Selected to represent Canada in the Silent Books Exhibit, 3rd Edition
- Unknown, Toronto Public Library's First and Best 2016 list selection
- Unknown, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens
- Unknown, Nominated for Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
- Unknown, Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2016
"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
"An interactive delight... Highly recommended."
Canadian Review of Materials
"The skunk's changing emotions are easy to read, and the possibilities of flight are thoroughly and playfully explored."
"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
"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 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."
"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