A Bit Of String

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Keenan graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in accounting. He lives in northern British Columbia where he doesn't work as an accountant. He loves to draw and tell stories with his children, Sam and Sarah. In his free time, he writes and illustrates picture books. As always, everything he does is for his family.

I initially wanted to write a book about an animal that pulls the colour off of a tree, then a rock, then the sky, and so on, but I was having a tough time figuring out the story. That difficulty is what led me to write A Bit Of String.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

This book is just weird. I don’t mean “only” weird, because A Bit of String by Keenan Hopson so appeals to this particular adult’s weird sense of humor that he wonders if perhaps the children for whom it is intended really deserve to read it. The opening alone lends itself to that “pit-opening-in-the-stomach” kind of feeling, that sense that maybe one’s curiosity need not be fully indulged this time around. This is the beginning line of a truly irresistible story: “Once there was a rabbit, and one day, while walking through the woods, he found a bit of string.” This also happens to be the concluding line of the book, and what happens in between is all about the forest friends who communally decide to follow wherever that bit of string may lead. These forest friends – need it be said? – are all kind of weird themselves. Perhaps this is non-fiction, after all.

The illustrations that adorn A Bit of String, created by the author of this weird story, are most extremely weird, too. At the risk of over-stressing that one word among thousands available, the strange (if familiar) woodland creatures all possess that self-assured, wide-eyed gaze of the confused (maybe deranged?) central character. No, not the rabbit. But you’ll see. And the animals are all perfectly concise in their communications. The intelligent bear’s proposal: “Let’s climb it.” To create a book this simple, this weird, takes an inordinate amount of self-discipline and skill. Like telling a really good joke, one must use his words concisely and he must create his pictures clearly. Keenan Hopson does both perfectly, then disguises his way to the punchline by calling it a children’s book. A wonderfully weird one, nonetheless.

Jack Magnus

A Bit Of String is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Keenan Hopson. Rabbit was puzzled when he saw the piece of string just lying there in the forest. Whose was it? What was it doing there? Did it belong to anyone? He looked around and didn’t see anyone at all. Then he decided to find out what would happen if he pulled on it. As he was just starting to do that, Squirrel noticed and asked Rabbit what he was doing. Rabbit explained and said it was fine if Squirrel wanted to stay there and watch. Rabbit kept pulling on that string and wondering what was on the other end of it. Was it a dog? Or a kite? Maybe something delicious to eat? Rabbit liked to think that maybe a bright orange carrot would come bouncing along when he reached the end of that string. Soon, other animals stopped to watch: a fox, a moose, even a bear. Whatever was on the other end?

Keenan Hopson’s children’s picture book, A Bit Of String, is a whimsical tale about adventure quests and the odd things one finds on the other end. Hopson’s determined and oh so patient Rabbit is a decidedly different adventurer whose unseen quarry will have young readers wondering along with him as he keeps pulling on that string. The author also illustrated this work, and I loved the iconic look of each of his characters. Hopson’s animals convey expression with their eyes and it’s grand fun to follow as they get involved in Rabbit’s quest. A Bit Of String is an ideal selection for story time and, perhaps, a discussion afterwards about string -- and what may be on the other end, but it’s also geared for new readers to try on their own. It’s highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Curiosity always leads to a grand adventure. There may be a purpose to that adventure, or it may just be a journey of sorts. Life is full of adventures and journeys, and what better to start either than with a little bit of curiosity. Rabbit was the first curious woodland creature. He found a bit of string and wanted to see where it led. Soon Squirrel joined him, then Fox, Moose and Bear. A fascinating menagerie of forest animals were all curious about this length of string. They pulled and they followed and they climbed and they exhausted themselves. But they never did find the end of the string. They did, however, have a great adventure – together.

Keenan Hopson’s picture book story, A Bit of String, is a simple story with a little bit of adventure and a little bit of humor and a whole lot of fun. I loved the ending, even if the animals never did find the end of the string. It’s an interesting study in working together towards a common goal, getting along, and helping each other out, all through the power of curiosity and the desire to have an adventure. The illustrations are a big part of the development of this story, leading the young reader through the many possible scenarios, including dreaming of what treasures they might find at the end of the string, treasures being in the form of something edible. The ending provides an illustrated map of where the string was leading the forest creatures. A charming story that's just a whole lot of good fun.

Bruce Arrington

A Bit Of String by Keenan Hopson is a short children’s illustrated story that stars a curious rabbit. A piece of string lying on the ground gets his attention, and although the other forest animals have no idea what might be at the end of the string, they encourage and watch as the rabbit attempts to pull the string in order to understand what may be found on the other end. Instead of the old “pulling the rabbit out of the hat” trick, here we have the “what will happen when I pull this string?” scenario. Other animal characters appear and show their friendship and support by sticking around to watch what will take place next. One of the characters steps in at one point and takes over the pulling. I won’t give away the ending, but it is as delightful as it is clever.

This story is a real charmer, with cleverly drawn and colored characters, and simple yet detailed settings. The font fits with the story well and blends in with the detailed art work. The story is easy enough for early readers to understand and enjoy, but can be read and appreciated by older ones as well. I could see this as a fun bedtime story. A Bit Of String by Keenan Hopson takes a simple theme and creates a clever and fun story out of it. I highly recommend this to young readers ages 4 and above, and for parents and grandparents who love reading to their little ones.

Jane Finch

A Bit of String, written and illustrated by Keenan Hopson, tells the story of a curious rabbit who goes for a walk through the woods and comes across a piece of string. Wondering what might be on the end, he pulls. He keeps pulling but doesn’t seem to reach the end. Other animals join him as they are all very interested in what might be on the end of the string. Rabbit gets quite tired and one of the other animals helps out, but the string seems endless. Eventually, the rabbit and all the others give up and go home. Amusing illustrations show where the string goes and what is on the end.

This is one of those stories that you just have to keep reading to find out what happens and what is on the end of the string. It is a very simple story, yet compelling for the young reader. The illustrations are cute and complement the little story. The ending is funny and quite a surprise, and readers will love it. The author clearly has a sense of humour which comes across in the tale. The title may not do the story justice, and could be more enticing to draw readers in, but there is no doubt that once they start reading they will not stop. The curiosity of the other animals works well, and they are able to encourage and help one another. A simple tale but an endearing one, and doubtless the curious rabbit will have lots of other adventures.