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Children's Fiction General


by (author) Torill Kove

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 11
  • Grade: 2 to 6


National Film Board of Canada Collection

A masterfully illustrated exploration of the beauty and complexity of parental love.

In Torill Kove's delicate and moving story, a woman joins her peers to grasp for threads dangling from the sky, each representing an unknown opportunity. Our protagonist snags a particularly special looking thread and is whisked away on an adventure.

She flies across the city and the countryside and comes down gently to meet her fate. Holding the other end of the thread is an infant girl. A mother-daughter connection is born.

As love and trust grow, the thread shared between mother and daughter is pulled and stretched across new experiences, until finally, it must be broken so that the daughter can go out on her own. However, both mother and daughter keep a part of the thread that brought them together. The love in their hearts will never truly let them be separated.

Adapted from the National Film Board animation of the same name, Kove's beautiful and touching portrayal of the loving bond shared by a mother and daughter was named one of the 10 best films at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Threads is a perfect keepsake for any mother-daughter relationship, and a perfect gift for Mother's Day.

In the tradition of the NFB's creative and innovative storytelling on film comes the National Film Board of Canada Collection: a series of celebrated animated films, documentary films and media projects adapted for the printed page.

Whether discovering a much-loved classic for the first time or interacting with a favorite film in a new and exciting way, readers will be delighted with the thought-provoking stories and inventive presentations of the National Film Board of Canada Collection.


About the author

Editorial Reviews

Adapting it from her own National Film Board short, award-winning animator Kove shares a moving story about the wonder and complexity of relationships. The text is spare and the illustrations are beautiful and moving.

Canadian Children's Book News

Adapted from the National Film Board of Canada, this is a heartwarming, delicate, deep, and touching story that illustrates a bond between mother-daughter and love of a parent. It is for a little older kids and a great discussion of the "threads" metaphor. I like how this story opens our minds and shows many possibilities in life. It also shows that we should not be afraid to take risks, love is powerful and family is everything. Grab this book to discover how magical it really is!

Stylish Modern Motherhood

"Torill Kove's Threads... is a master class in pared-down simplicity. "We are all reaching for threads," the text reads under a first-page illustration of line-drawn, brightly coloured people, all of whom are gazing up at or reaching for what appear to be strings dangling from the sky, "... threads to connect us with others, threads to help us find purpose, threads to discover love." Norway-born Kove, an Academy Award--winning animator, expands this simple but effective metaphor. When a thread looks special, she posits, we grab it excitedly to see where it will lead us, even as the threads of family keep us tied to the ground.The book's central characters are a mother and young daughter bound by a red thread; when they embrace, it spirals, cocoon-like, around them. As the girl enters the trials of adolescence, however, the thread expands and contracts, like a yo-yo. One of Kove's most touching images shows the grown daughter and mother wearing their bunched threads over their hearts, like brooches: "The love we have for each other will always stay in our hearts, even as you find your own way." The story ends where it began, with the young woman glancing back at her mother as she prepares to join the line of those waiting to grab a thread of opportunity."

Quill and Quire

Torill Kove has adapted another of her critically acclaimed NFB short films into an illustrated story for children (in the manner of last year's My Grandmother Ironed the King's-Shirts). In Threads, a woman grasps a thread from the sky and at the other end is an infant. What follows is a meditation on mother-daughter bonds and the complexity of parental love.

Quill and Quire

"The illustrations are gorgeous and powerfully depict the sparse text. Many children may initially need assistance in interpreting the "threads" metaphor, but it is a powerful device to discuss parent/child relationships with the possibility of many extensions. Highly Recommended."

Resource Links

A moving and touching story... This bittersweet story, which cuts across gender and all cultures, is one of bonding and how it evolves over time. The bonds or common threads can apply to children and parents, siblings, spouses or friends. Without being maudlin or sappy, the story hits an emotional nerve as it shows the strength and importance of our connections with others. The illustrations consist of simple line drawings and a pastel colour palette which add to the story's simple, yet powerful, message. Beautifully written, Threads would make a wonderful gift for new parents. Highly recommended.

Canadian Review of Materias

Other titles by Torill Kove