non-fiction nuggets…swedish design meets geography

Follow the Line around the world, written and illustrated by Laura Ljungkvist


You know Etch-a-Sketch?  The little red slate with the uppy-downy knob and the back-and-forth knob that you fiddle with, attempting to turn the never-ending line on the screen into a recognizable design?  Before the current techno-everywhere world, that was what kept us entertained for hours in the car on summer road trips. 

Well, Laura Ljungkvist’s book, Follow the Line around the world brought back Etch-a-Sketch memories to me.  It’s like Etch-a-Sketch on steroids!  Her design work is genius! 

Beginning on the front cover, one continuous black line forms the title, winds its way into the interior pages, creates the graphics for the story, moving, curving, angling, flowing from one page to the next, before whisking off onto the back cover to say “Hej Då”  — Swedish for good-bye. 

With each turn of the page, the line carries us to another part of the world — Kenya, Greenland, the Outback, the Sahara — forming the creatures and features of that place — giraffes and kangaroos, pine forests and New York City skyscrapers — without ever, ever stopping!  

It is so cool!! 

Meanwhile, many tidbits of information tuck into the designs, telling us interesting facts about, for example, taigas, Australian bilbies, lifespans of parrots and whales, or how many languages are spoken in New York City. 

This is one of three Follow the Line books Ljungkvist has created.  Her first takes us on a delightful journey from city to country, and her second takes us on a smashing tour of a house.  Ljungkvist is an acclaimed Swedish artist-designer.  Her web-site is spectacular, so I’m putting a link here for you to check it out!  

laura ljungkvist