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Lines, Squiggles, Letters, Words

Learning to read can be a daunting task. Writer Ruth Rocha and illustrator Madalena Matoso, have done a phenomenal job in immersing the reader in a journey that is wondrous and enlightening. LINES, SQUIGGLES, LETTERS, WORDS was born in Brazil, but with a little help by translator Lyn Miller-Lachmann, can now be enjoyed by children this side of the equator. 

The story is so simple in its telling, yet so powerful in its execution. At the centre of the book is Pedro, a little boy who is very observant. He hasn’t yet learnt to read, but as he looks out into the world, he is bombarded with messages and visuals everywhere. None of it makes any sense to him. Imagine his frustration. Despite his mom’s attempt to assign meaning to these random posters, billboards and signs, all Pedro can see around him is a bunch of squiggles, and drawings, which apparently represent various things. 

Then one day a wonderful thing happens. Pedro's teacher showed the class a big colourful board. The big A she writes on the board starts to slowly take on meaning in Pedro's mind. 

As Pedro heads home from school that day, he is pleasantly surprised to see the letter A on all the signs, billboards and shops. In fact, everywhere Pedro set his sights on, the letter A seemed to appear. 

What a wonderful adventure it is for the reader, as they step into a brand new realization of knowledge and intrigue. I felt like a kid again exploring and understanding the world, one letter at a time. 

Very rarely do I come across a children's book that absolutely floors me. Ruth Rocha's LINES, SQUIGGLES, LETTERS, WORDS is conceptually smart and visually engaging. The perfect marriage of words and images. 

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle)