By Author / Illustrator
Inbal Leitner, Inbal Leitner
'We are moving to a new home, where the lakes freeze in winter. I am visiting my Grandma to say goodbye.'The little girl in this story loves visiting her Grandma's sewing studio and watching her make things, and is worried about leaving Grandma behind and not being able to see her. Grandma re-assures her and is making her a warm coat which will envelop her like a big hug.The message of love despite separation is comforting for all those grandchildren and grandparents who are now in self-isolation or social distancing due to the corona virus. Soothes anxiety caused by lock down and school closure and shows ways communication can still take place. Free resources are on publisher website.
The Longest Strongest Thread is a sweet tale about the difficulty a young child has in fully understanding the meaning of being very far away from family. The story explores the many fears and questions that naturally arise when someone leaves their home and all the security they've ever know behind. The young girl in this book is moving away, leaving her Grandma and the warm comforts of her Grandma's sewing studio; a place she loves to go. The story progresses with the girl's thoughts of solutions that may overcome or ease fears of the vast distance between them both; maybe a map will help Grandma find her way, when she can visit, or an aeroplane she can fly with 'to reach me quicker', and 'if only there was an enormous pin magnet I could use to pull her to me whenever I want'. The illustrations are full of emotion, every page oozes love, and the unbreakable bond the little girl shares with her grandma. This is a thoughtful story, written with so much warmth and subtlety, it is sure to pull on the heart strings of some adults. That being said, I'm not sure I believe it will have as much, or, the same effect on its target audience; the young reader. As beautiful as is, its sentiment, I worry it is a little too abstract for young children to grasp and/or relate and engage with as an enjoyable read. However, the story would certainly work (with some guidance/explaining) as a tool for evoking discussion around migration and as a celebration of relationships with our loved ones. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+