Reviewed by David Savage
Don’t Cross the Line by Isabel Martins, illustrated by Bernardo Carvalho is a story of following orders, breaking the rules and people power.
The books starts with an armed soldier guarding a blank right hand page. He has been ordered by his General not to let anybody cross the line, the right hand side page must be kept blank for when the General wants to join the story.
The soldier allows follows orders, that is for the first 7 blank pages. A crowd has amassed asking why they can’t enter that space and the soldier is under lots of pressure. When a child’s ball bounces on to the blank page he allows the children on to retrieve it which leads to the soldier allowing others on. Before you know it the page is full.
When the general appears he orders the soldier arrested for not doing his job but people power takes over saving the guard.
Overall, this is a book that different age groups will take a different meaning from. Young children will see a blank page and want to draw in it, older children will ask why the page has to blank and adults will see political injustice, dictatorship and peaceful revolution (there is no violence within these pages).
While aimed at children, the colourful illustrations will grab their attention but I fear it will encourage them to scribble in books due to the large white spaces. So due to the subject matter it is probably more suited for older children that can grasp the concept of what is actually happening.
A great concept and idea but I’m not sure children will see the benefit of it, it just didn’t speak to me.
RRP: £11.99 (hardback)
Available to buy from Amazon here.