An Outstanding International Trade Book, USBBY * A National Council of Social Studies Notable Book * A Best Multicultural Children’s Book of 2019, Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature
A moving and timely story of a young boy separated from his beloved brother and father by a border.
Arturo loves to look at maps and the lines where different countries meet––as if greeting each other with a big hug. But his mother tells him these lines have a different purpose––to keep people from moving freely across the land. Arturo and his mother are separated from his father and his brother Antonio by one of these lines. Will he ever see his brother again? But the sky has no lines, so Arturo dreams of flying with Antonio through the open sky to the moon, free of barriers. Artful, moving watercolor illustrations express a young boy's sorrow at separation and his joyful dreams of a world without lines.
"Two brothers live separated by a line on a map. Arturo fantasizes about overcoming the obstacles the line represents. Perhaps he can dig under it, swim through it, or build a bridge over it—anything to be with his older brother, Antonio, again, just like the cranes freely crossing the skies. He dreams of meeting his brother on the moon, where they can play fútbol with their faces gleaming from ‘the sticky sweetness of warm churros.’ Basil’s story of borders implies a happy ending for a truncated family stuck in two different countries. But Barcelona-based artist Borràs’ (Marwan’s Journey, 2018) earth-toned watercolor landscapes feature the political reality of the United States–Mexico fence—the ‘line’ running through the lives of Arturo and his family. The stylized images resemble marionettes with pupil-less, masklike faces; expressions are limited or nonexistent. Many of the double-page spreads are populated with fox-ish, ring-tailed creatures. Since neither foxes nor coyotes have ringed tails, it’s difficult to decipher what they are. If coyotes, they may serve to call attention to the ubiquitous human traffickers known by the same name. The cranes’ unfettered flight from one country to the next evokes Arturo’s wish that where two lands meet there be no lines; after all, ‘he’d looked hard, and he’d seen no lines in the sky, none at all.’ A provocative take on a world without borders." — Kirkus Reviews