Nothing Happens in This Book

Judy Ann Sadler, illus. by Vigg. Kids Can, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-77138-737-8
This self-referential story by Sadler (Reaching) starts with spreads of dark, textured shadow. Per the title, a mouse in a bow tie tells readers to give up on the book: “You might as well stick it back on the shelf,” he advises. Then a faint light dawns, and objects appear—a striped ball, a clown’s shoes—and sounds surface: music, “horses nickering,” and “bagpipes humming.” The mouse finds a group of downcast-looking entertainers, gradually realizes that there’s a parade waiting to be organized, and takes charge. A final triple gatefold bursts with musicians, confetti, and balloons. Canadian illustrator Vigg brings a retro sensibility to the spreads with a restrained palette of yellowish-brown, olive green, and brick red, and his figures sport the cheerful grins and wide-open eyes of cartoon characters. Notably, in this age of snark, the parade participants interact with polite concern (“Did you lose your teddy bear?”). Sadler keeps the pace at a quick march, building smoothly from quiet stillness to riotous fortissimo, and the mouse’s questions for listeners (“Did you hear that?”) will engage the readaloud audience throughout. Ages 4–7. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 978-7-5597-2154-9
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