________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 41 . . . . June 22, 2018

cover

Nothing Happens in This Book.

Judy Ann Sadler. Illustrated by Vigg.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2018.
40 pp., hardcover, $18.99.
ISBN 978-1-77138-737-8.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 2-6.

Review by Chris Laurie.

**** /4

   

excerpt:

This book looks boring, doesn't it?

You might as well stick it back on the shelf. Or toss it under your bed.
You don't need to read it because it looks like nothing happens in this book.
I'll bet the next page is blank, too.

See? What did I tell you?
Nothing happens in this book.
Just close it now!

Oh, you're still here?
Great – I think I see something on the next page!

Readers are initially warned away by the book's narrator, a little mouse-like man wearing a bowtie, who declares, "Nothing happens in this book". But it isn't true, as curious minds will discover as they continue reading. Seemingly random objects begin to appear: a trumpet, a unicycle, a giant baton… And it isn't long before we start to 'hear' something as well: "Listen – do you hear music? I think it's coming from the next page! Whoa! There are trombones and tubas and booming bass drums! I hear horses nickering and bagpipes humming! And cheering and laughing and whistling and clapping."

      The mystery deepens. What do all of these seemingly random objects have in common? Who lost them, and what are they going to do with them?

      Starting with darkly shaded spreads, Sadler's story immediately piques the curiosity of young readers. As light begins to dawn, additional objects emerge from the darkness. Vigg's illustrations use a retro-style palette of yellowish-brown, olive green, and brick red. Clues are gradually revealed that will allow attentive readers to anticipate the story's conclusion before the narrator does. This enables them to save the day when they discover a group of despairing characters. A final fold-out page shows what belongs to whom whilst giving young readers plenty of details to explore.

      Nothing Happens in This Book, a fun read-aloud, encourages audience participation and is best suited for preschoolers as well as beginning readers.

      Judy Ann Sadler is the bestselling author of more than twenty books for children. She lives in London, ON. Award-winning Vigg has written and illustrated several children's books as part of the creative duo Bellebrute. He lives in Montreal, QC.

Highly Recommended.

Chris Laurie is an Outreach Librarian at Winnipeg Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, contact cm@umanitoba.ca.

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