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spacerStory Home: Picture Book Reviews: Nothing
Nothing illustration
Written and illustrated by Mick Inkpen
Orchard Books, New York, NY, 1998
3+ years

Who among us has never felt like nothing? Wishing and longing to be somebody. Not anyone. Us. To find our true nature. With Nothing we have a story for that lonely child in all of us.
spacer A little, beat-up and discarded stuffed animal is left behind in the attic when a family moves. It is so old and ragged that its original form is no longer recognizable. It has been there so long that it has even forgotten its name. Even the movers left it behind. "What have we got here?" said a voice. "Oh, it's nothing," said another. So the ragged little toy decides that Nothing must be its name.
spacer So begins Nothing's journey to find out its true nature. Along the way it meets a mouse. The tail looks familiar. Then there is the fox. The ears and whiskers look familiar as well. Then a friendly cat takes him back to his house. There Nothing finds the one person who can make him someone. The discovery reveals his true nature and the true meaning of family.
spacer Such stories as Nothing flirt with becoming overly sentimental. But Mick Inkpen crafts a simple, evocative story with great implications. Children and adults alike will find his full color watercolor illustrations appealing as a perfect complement to the text.

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