Lines that Wiggle, review and author interview

When my son came home one day from his visit at the school library, he was so excited to show me the book he chose, lines that wiggle. When we read this book together, I was immediately drawn to the artistic way that the book was written and illustration. The author, Candace Whitman and illustrator, Steve Wilson worked seamlessly together to incorporate the words as pieces of art. Having an earlier version of the book, I also noticed that the lines on the book were a different texture, which helped kids “play” along with the lines. Although the newer edition of books don’t have that texture component, get creative with this by adding your own texture to the lines! Go to your local art supply store and find a special glue or paint to add the texture. Get creative and use different colors and texture to make this book a true multi-sensory experience!

Language and Learning Tips: As you are reading aloud to your child, define specific vocabulary words that may be unknown. Model the language of how the lines are shaped and move along the pages. Ask your child to take their finger and trace the lines on the page to help with fine motor coordination. 

After reading this book several times, I decided to contact the author, Candace Whitman and ask her questions about lines that wiggle as well as her other books. I was very interested in her background and included the interview below. To learn more about Candace Whitman, check out her website here.

1. How did you think of the idea of your book, Lines that wiggle?
I was an art teacher before getting into children’s books, and I had always wanted a way to introduce children to the elements of art – line, shape, color, etc.  I do not recall exactly what sparked this particular text, but I do remember that as I started the writing began to flow.  
2. What gave you the idea to combine script within your book?
Actually, credit for anything visual goes to the illustrator, Steve Wilson. His zany illustrations really bring the text to life, and it was his idea to have the continuous line in the illustrations to emphasize the presence of lines everywhere!
3. I love that your book has a sensory component to it that makes it interactive. Can you tell me more about this?
That was a wonderful decision made by the publisher — and I have since learned that children enjoyed tracing the lines with their fingers, or at least seeing the glittery effect throughout. As I mentioned above they have discontinued this aspect of the book….but there is no reason why children can’t make their own picture with lines, and get some glitter glue and then create their own great picture……
4. My son wanted to ask you if you intended to create a maze in some of the pictures. 
I was very aware as I thought of all the places in the world that have lines, that sometimes we see webs, or patterns of some kind, and yes, even mazes. Steve Wilson really uses his imagination in the art to make lines appear in all sorts of exciting ways!
5. Can you tell me about your card making business? How does your skills as an author helped with this business? 
Yes, a lot of my writing for greeting cards (and children’s books actually) came from one of my first jobs out of college —  advertising. The writing for advertising has to be short but capture the reader’s interest — and so you have to be able to get your message across quickly.  I wish writing for children made it easier to write greeting cards, but it’s more that being an author has trained me to think a certain way as I write, and to recognize something I can use when it appears on the page. 

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