Judy Ann Sadler's newest picture book - Nothing Happens in This Book.
We always start with 'What's the name of the book Gramma?' (And although we've talked about the word 'title', I much prefer the book having a 'name' as well.) We look at the cover and I ask him what he thinks might happen in the book. Well, when I say "Nothing Happens in This Book", he of course thinks I've made a mistake with the name and what might occur. After some back and forth, he 'gets' it and thinks this is an absolutely wonderful joke.
The front cover is eye catching with bold colours and a large font that has movement, for the title. The turned back page at the bottom corner invites the reader inside. And who could that little character be? (The title page inside is quite clever as well)
The initial pages are black with a hint of colour peeking through. A dialogue bubble engages the reader right away, asking a question. Subsequent pages introduce the little character who assures us that nothing is going to happen, but he also hints at what be on the next page. Well, of course Little Guy could not wait to see what was on the next page! Was it nothing? As items begin to appear on the pages, we began guessing as to what they might mean and who they could belong to. And wondered what might be at the end of the book?
There's a lovely large fold out page at the end that was unexpected and gives the reader the final answer about what is happening in this book.
Subsequent readings had us matching up the objects with who was going to need them and examining that last fold out page in greater detail. (We also found a little surprise on the back cover.) Spoiler - the end of the book brings us to a circus. The circus was not something Little Guy had been to or had knowledge of, so some discussion was needed to provide context. Some of the matches are not obvious - such as a dinosaur and the teddy bear.
Vigg's illustrations have a retro, fanciful feel to them, with a muted colour scheme that is easy on the eyes. Facial expressions can make or break a book for Little Guy. Vigg's illustrations are quirky, but Little Guy decided that the mouse (our narrator) was nice. Indeed, each character is smiling. (They are all very polite as well!)
The publisher has recommended this book for ages 4-7. Some words may need explanation such as contraption, marshal, unicycle and baton.
Nothing Happens in This Book brings the reader into the story, asking them to participate by 'talking' to them directly. This style of story telling really engages Little Guy. He was able to 'read' me the story after a few tellings by using the pictures. Here's an excerpt of Nothing Happens in This Book.