Nobody by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Julie Downing
Released May 25, 2010.
A charmer of a book about a boy and his imaginary friend, Nobody. This allows for plenty of wordplay in the book with Nobody telling the boy to do anything, Nobody helping him, and Nobody cleaning up. George woke up early in the morning and with Nobody’s advice decided to make a feast! So he and Nobody raid the refrigerator, mix all sorts of things together including eggs, chocolate syrup and dog biscuits. Not allowed the turn on the stove, the two friends had to wait. So they played cards. Nobody won. George then invented his own game which he won. When his parents woke up, they were surprised by the mess. As they took the matter in hand, Nobody began to shrink and disappear until George called him back to help make pancakes for breakfast.
I’ve always loved wordplay and we don’t see enough of it in books for preschoolers. Especially this kind of subtle playing where it can be ignored without losing the story, or enjoyed as another dimension of the book. Rosenberg’s text is great fun to read aloud. Children will love the concoction the two create together and will immediately understand that Nobody is imaginary. I also appreciate the parents’ reaction to the morning mess. They take it in stride and with humor.
Downing’s illustrations have a soft quality that works well in this early morning story filled with imagination. She uses sploshes and drips of paint to great effect as the kitchen becomes messier and messier. George is quite a small child in the illustrations, which will make it inviting to young children to join in the adventure.
Recommended, this is a great book to share when doing story times on cooking or messes. Nobody makes a mess quite like this one! Appropriate for ages 2-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.