cover image Nothing Happens in This Book

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. [em](May) [/em]