The Longest Strongest Thread
Publisher: Scallywag Press
A little girl is moving with her family to a cold country and leaving her grandmother behind; it’s too cold for her where they’re going, so she’s going to stay at home – which is also where her dressmaking business is. The little girl adores grandma’s sewing studio, and sews a map for grandma showing her where her new home is; she embroiders aeroplanes for Grandma to fly in onto the fabric. She wishes that there was a giant magnet that could pull Grandma to her just like Grandma’s pin magnet picks up the pins from the tables and floors. Yet, as Grandma measures her granddaughter and sews her a warm new coat, she tells her that they are joined by a strong thread which can never be broken.
This touching, gentle story about saying goodbye to our loved ones - and being distanced from them – is very poignant, and Leitner’s collage style illustrations in yellow, orange and blue (perhaps representing the cold climate the little girl is leaving for and the warmth of home) feature fabric textures and sewing motifs throughout, reminding us of the overarching metaphor of stitching, thread, connection and togetherness. Grandma’s sewing will protect her granddaughter in the new, cold place she’s going to, just like her love will protect her from afar.