Book Review: World on a String by Larry Phifer (4/5)


World on a String is a feel-good, rhyming picture book. I can imagine toddlers would very much enjoy the sing-songy feel of the words. There is a certain appeal in the rhyming scheme. The storyline of World on a String is simplistic, but there is an expansive underlying message about looking at the world — and loss — in a different way.

Remember when you had a balloon on a string? And it was like your whole world because it was so colorful and free? But it also instilled some kind of fear in you…it could fly away at any moment. And needless to say, you accidentally let go and watched it disappeared into the blue, blue net of the sky. You realized that the sky represented some place you couldn’t go to, some place out of your reach. Even your all-powerful superhero parents didn’t have the ability to bring back your world on a string.

It was then that you felt the consuming edges of loss. Things could be taken from you. You could lose whole worlds, whole feelings that could never be replaced.

I do have a soft spot for picture books, and I was very much disappointed when I couldn’t see the pictures in this galley. I can’t judge very well, because I couldn’t see the illustrations — that’s the main point of a picture book: the interplay between the artist and the writer!

So it’s a 4/5.

But I’m sure I would have found this a charming story as a toddler. It’s nothing amazing and astounding; it’s actually one of the “safe” books. It won’t challenge ideas or plant unconventional ideas in budding minds. But charming.

***eBook provided by in exchange for my honest review


3 thoughts on “Book Review: World on a String by Larry Phifer (4/5)

  1. Hello! I am the author of World on a String and I just received your lovely review. Thank you! However, I noticed you were unable to see the illustrations, and that just won’t do. Some NetGalley users have had this problem for some reason. I’d like to email you free copies of the eBook for all iPhone/iPad, Nook and Kindle devices. These versions properly show the illustrations, which, as you point out, is really the only way to experience a picture book. If more convenient, I can also email a PDF version.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful review and sorry you weren’t able to see the illustrations the first go round. Please send me an email and I will send the links to the eBook downloads.


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