A sophisticated picture book, with a subtle message


Don’t Cross the Line

A slapstick postmodern tale that is also a profound statement about dictatorship and peaceful revolution.

Written by Isabel Minhos Martins and illustrated by Bernardo P Carvalho

Translated by Daniel Hahn


  • Description

    In Don’t Cross the Line, The guard always follows the general’s orders without question. This time, the order is that no one must cross the line. The right-hand page of this book must be kept blank for the general.

    As the crowd builds up on the border, the guard is under pressure. If no one is allowed onto the next page, what will happen to the story?

    Take a peek behind the scenes at All the Wonders of Don’t Cross the Line

    A children’s book for all ages.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin Portugal
    Reader Age 5-7 year, 6-8 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Deutscher Jugendliteratur Preis

      Winner, picture book 2017

  • Reviews

    1. Educateempower (Instagram)

      You will enjoy reading this book again and again, looking at the different characters that live on the pages and seeing how they react to the different situations presented to them as the story progresses. It is a great book to accompanying any unit of work about government and society and will really help you to reflect on how you see the rules you live under.

    2. Reading Time

      Picture Books such as this never cease to amaze and excite me in their authentic construction and influence. Playfulness and colour have been used to convey a message about dictatorship and the effectiveness of peaceful people power. Highly recommended

    3. Book Council (NZ)

      It’s ultimately about the power of the people who peacefully pressure and question the unjust law and hopefully will triumph…
      Don’t Cross The Line is a very intriguing and unique sophisticated picture book.

    4. Booksellers NZ

      This superb picture book encapsulates an entire collection of short stories, spurred on by the actions of one dictatorial General, who believes the book and all its pages belongs to him.

    5. Unity Books Spring Newsletter

      The beautiful and chaotic felt-tip-penned illustrations breathe life into this book, which is filled to the brim with eclectic characters.

    6. Reading Is Our Thing (NZ)

      The brightly coloured illustrations are revolutionary. They’re scribbled yet skilful. Silly yet serious. Together with the amusing speech-bubbled storyline, they create a multifaceted gem—a book that can be read many different ways, multiple times, and is bound to appeal to a vast number of people, young and old.

    7. School Library Journal’s Most Astonishingly Unconventional Children’s Books of 2016

      It’s a fresh take on the meta picture book, as well as a subtle commentary on freedom.

    8. Bookrapt (NZ)

      A sophisticated picture book, with a subtle message about dictatorship, and how it is resolved peacefully, thought provoking. The childlike felt pen illustrations are fun and colourful.

Available worldwide from your local bookstore or online.

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