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Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Nowhere Box, written and illustrated by Sam Zuppardi. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"Where are you going?
And you can't follow me!

The box from the
washing machine
was just what
George needed.

In no time, he was ready
for his escape."

Too often they are just TOO MUCH! That is exactly what George is thinking as his bothersome brothers follow him everywhere he goes. I mean, EVERYWHERE! There is no place to hide from them, and he has had enough of it.

The delivery man arrives just in time. He brings a new washing machine for the family, and the means of escape for a big brother bent on finding peace and quiet away from the menacing siblings who seem like his own personal stalkers...the box it comes in.

The big box is perfect. First, he turns it into his own traveling machine. He has all the appropriate gear, the unfettered walls allow for the arrangement of the buttons he needs to blast off to NOWHERE. When he arrives, there is nothing there. George changes that pretty quickly, creating a world of wonder and imagination that satisfies all of his dreams and wishes.

His brothers are not content to ignore George's disappearance:

"He wasn't in the bedroom.
He wasn't in the bathroom.
He wasn't in the living room.

Where was George?"

You know, and I know, that George is right where he wants to be! Having satisfied his need to be on his own, and having had a wealth of new experiences, George is finally ready to return home.

Using mixed media, and using it perfectly, Sam Zuppardi adds a visual text that will have young readers captivated by the leaps and bounds that the imagination can take. I love his simple images of the big-headed children, the bright color palette, and the wild adventures George undertakes. But, I especially love the scenes with his little brothers and the parallel story he tells in his art. Don't miss a single image!


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