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The Squiggle

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
What magic can be found in a piece of string?  The magic of a million incarnations--when the string is found by an imaginative little girl who spies it on the sidewalk.  Slither, slish--it could be the dance of a scaly dragon.  Or, push-a-pat--the top of the Great Wall of China.  Unique illustrations, inspired by Asian brush-stroke paintings, transform the simple thread in ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published June 15th 1999 by Dragonfly Books (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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I like the imagination in this, especially brought out in the illustrations. There's no real story to the book, which makes me wonder if the preschool group would like it. I think the illustrations are too advanced for toddler, but will the preschoolers stay attentive? I suppose I can have it as a back-up fill-in.

7/1/10 Used this at the end of preschool as we had time. I told them it was all about imagination. And the illustrations really hooked them. They had to think hard to see how the little
Shakeema Gabriel
Jun 26, 2014 Shakeema Gabriel rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture
This book was simple and the illustrations were amazing. This book shows culture as well as a vivid imagination. We can use this book to teach children that you can make anything come to life with your imagination. This little girl took a string and brought it to life. This shows children they can get creative with just the smallest thing.
Mar 12, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because it's so simple but held a lot of meaning at the same time. The little girl imagines all the complexities and possibilities that a squiggle can be made into - the Great Wall of China, food, and other items she experiences. I thought this was really clever and imaginative - kids can read it and imagine things from other shapes that they view in their daily life.
Imagination! The author uses her words just how they sound-she even puts them on the page that way! This can be used to show students why a author writes the way they do and why sounds are a big part of making a story interesting.
Aug 19, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Whimsical, Asian-inspired marker-and-gouache illustrations on brown French paper carry the story through a little girl's imaginations for a found piece of string. I enjoyed the pictures more than the text, but if you don't mind articulating onomatopoetic words, it's a fun read for a young child.
Jan 20, 2017 Casandria rated it really liked it
A cute story of a young girl imagining what a squiggle can be...
Chinese New Year
Vincent Meyers
Mar 27, 2015 Vincent Meyers rated it liked it
"The Squiggle" by Carole Lexa Schaefer is a story about a little girl and her imagination. More specifically, the story is about what the little girl created with a piece of string she found. The story begins with a little girl and her group of friends walking to the park. Along the way she spots a piece of string on sidewalk and playfully grabs it. Now the girl begins imagining all of the items the string can represent. Firstly, she pretends it is a big scaly dragon. Secondly, she imagines it i ...more
Eileen Goedert
Jun 08, 2014 Eileen Goedert rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations by Pierr Morgan depict the play and creativity of a Chinese child. Carole Lexa Schaefer describes the last child in any school group line seeing his/her own thoughts come to life, in this case, through a piece of red string. The author shows off her master's in early childhood or maybe it is her experience with young children as she describes how the girl performs a child's work, play. Both writer and illustrator poetically portray a walk through Chinese cultural icons li ...more
Christine Turner
What magic can be found in a piece of string? The magic of a million incarnations--when the string is found by an imaginative little girl who spies it on the sidewalk!Slither, slish. It could be the dance of a scaly dragon.

Unique and beautiful illustrations, inspired by Asian brush-stroke paintings, transform the simple thread into fireworks, thunderclouds, and even the moon. At last the girl returns to show her waiting classmates her newfound treasure: a "squiggle of a line"! Lavish illustrat
Caitlin Barclay
This book is all about imagination! The author uses her words just how they sound-she even puts them on the page that way! This can be used to show students why a author writes the way they do and why sounds are a big part of making a story interesting. This can also kick off an art activity that has the students use their imagination to do something with their own piece of string. This book reminds me of another book called Beautiful Oops which illustrates (in 3-d!) what wonderful things can be ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Marit added it
Shelves: fantasy
When I was reading the book I started thinking about childrens incredible way to fantasize and their playful and wonderful imagination. Only a short trip with the class turns in to a fantasy land with dragons, fireworks, a moon and so such more. I like this book, I thought it was cute, and it made me think back to when I was young and about all the things we did when we went on trips with my school. We always played around and imagined that we were in different places and made up stories about t ...more
Brant Rackley
Sep 16, 2008 Brant Rackley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all ages
This book can help with creativity, regardless of age. For children, it shows that some of the most simple things they will see day to day can become just about anything in their imaginations. I found that reading this with my daughter made me take a second look at things. This book was refreshing to me. As most people get older they seem to let life "get in the way", me included. This book can really help in flipping that notion on it's ear, and allow you to embrace daily things in a new and re ...more
Logan Spears
The Squiggle was a great story about a young girl and her inagination. The book is a rather square layout but on some pages the illustrator spreads the picture arcross both the pages and on others only uses the one side. This gives the book a great balance and the illustrator does a great job matching the text with the appropriate style of picture. I liked that the little girl was an asian girl rather than the typical white family. This would be a good book for the begging reader because the tex ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this one. A young girl's class is walking to the park when she sees a string on the sidewalk. Her imagination begins to work and all of a sudden we begin to see various Chinese items in the illustrations--a long wall, a dragon, sky trail of fireworks. The illustrations and text are basically simple, but WOW what a lovely book about imagination from a Chinese child's point of view. Very well done and its worth a look even though it is fifteen years old.
Renae Williams
This book is very unigue and interesting. At first i thought she was using chalk to make these pictures but then i realized she was using her imagination and created images using string. It would be cool to give students their own piece of string and see what kind of images their imaginations create.
Janet Chen
Apr 05, 2011 Janet Chen rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Great story that ties in culture to art!
The author does a great job on using words that mimick different sounds that the string makes and visually its intriguing because it does show a neat way of drawing. Great picture to use imagery on and show students how the author makes it so that you can imagine whats going on.
Brittney Daniel
This book helps children explore their imagination as well as let them show their creativity. This story a girl made a great experience out of a outdoor experience. As teachers we have to make sure that we let our children explore in many different areas.
Mar 29, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A wonderful choice to foster creativity, practice writing and have fun with drawing. There are so many extension ideas you can use with this book that emphasizes writing, one of the 5 Every Child Ready to Read practices.
Hannah Morrison
Teaching imagination! I love that imagination is endorsed in this story rather than squashed like schools are so often accused of doing. The plot was so simple but intricate at the same time. I would love to use this to model the concept of creating "something from nothing" to my students.
NS-Christine Johnson
Oct 07, 2009 NS-Christine Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A little girl with a big imagination goes for a walk with the rest of her class. Along the way she comes across a "squiggle". It becomes a dragon, a trail of fireworks, a cloud, and a moon. With such an imagination the possibilities are endless! Great for pre-school or Kindergarten students.
Stephanie Calhoun
Feb 17, 2016 Stephanie Calhoun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I use this book in my writer's workshop at the beginning of the year. The students learn how to draw lines first, and this is a wonderful book to use before creating an anchor chart with different types of lines.
Sandy Bledsoe
Oct 05, 2016 Sandy Bledsoe rated it really liked it
The Squiggle is a great book to inspire students to use their imagination. The girl in the book finds a piece of string and she uses her imagination to make dragons, fireworks and other things with her string.
I like doing this book as an interactive story. I give each child a long piece of yarn and do the shapes and actions with them.
Jul 19, 2010 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young chinesse girl finds a red string and imagines all sorts of uses. (chinesse dragon, great wall etc)
Jermeria Daniel
Jul 03, 2015 Jermeria Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
I would use this book to draw imagination from the children. The would use a squiggle printed on a paper to create something totally new from their minds.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Simple concept but wonderfully implemented. A little girl out on a walk with her class finds a string and with her imagination creates an adventure. Can be used as part of Chinese New Year's books.
Another beautiful book by this duo. An easy art project tie-in as well. Would make a great Chinese New Year book.
Marissa García
Join the main character as she uses her imagination to the fullest by turning the line she finds into great pictures.
Olson Family Matters
Jul 09, 2012 Olson Family Matters rated it really liked it
Shelves: china
Loved this one and so did Madelyn. Great imaginative, but simple story. Author was apparently inspired to write it after trip to China.
Jan 21, 2014 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Think contemporary, Chinese-inspired "Harold with a Purple Crayon" ... nice to see how a child's imagination can reshape the ordinary into the extraordinary in an everyday environment.
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When Carole Lexa Schaefer was growing up, she wanted to be both a poet and a journalist. In an unexpected way, she feels she achieved her ambition. While studying for a master's degree in early childhood education, she once put together a picture book made of photo essays. "The lyrical, every-word-counts genre captivated the poet and journalist in me," Carole Lexa Schaefer recalls--and she's been ...more
More about Carole Lexa Schaefer...

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