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*Tommaso and the Missing Line* by Matteo Pericoli
Tommaso and the Missing Line
by Matteo Pericoli
Ages 4-8 40 pages Knopf December 2008 Hardcover    

Tommaso has a favorite drawing he likes to keep in his pocket. In it, he has drawn a house on a hill, a big tree, some mountains in the background, and two people: him and his grandma. One day, something strange happens - one of the lines in his drawing disappears!

Tommaso sets off in search of the missing line through a black-and-white, crisply illustrated Italian neighborhood, encountering many different lines along the way. But the lines he finds are never the right one - an old dogís leash, a sleepy catís curving tail, a carís antenna.

Luigi the barber (whose barbershop floor is covered in a rich array of lines - curly, straight, dark, light, even red - all of it hair from his patrons) suggests that Tommaso simply draw the missing line back in to his drawing. But Tommaso explains that the line isnít just any line. He made the drawing on a hot summer afternoon while visiting his nonna. Every time he looked at the drawing, it reminded him of that day, with the delicious smell of nonnaís cooking and the sound of the cicadas outside.

How can Tommaso find the line again?

This is a simple and evocative story, strongly reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon and with the same appreciation of the power of a childís imagination. The black-and-white drawings are whimsical and attractive.

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