Books, Books, Books!

Children's Book Review: Something From Nothing

This is a very sweet book, one that tugs at the heartstrings without making you cry. That is really an important factor when I choose books, ones that have me sobbing uncontrollably at the end, well, my kids get annoyed when I can’t read because my chest is heaving with sobs and I can’t read the words from the tears in my eyes. Anyone read I Love You Forever? Yah, that’s what I am talking about. THAT kind of crying. So touching you want an upper after you are done reading it.

I digress. This is a sweet story about a grandfather who makes his grandson a blanket, and as the years go on, and the blanket gets worn, he makes other items out of it. And as those other items get tattered and torn, the inventive grandfather makes another item out of the remaining cloth , and so on and so forth. One of the best parts is the bottom panel of the page, there is a little mouse family that you see growing along with the boy, and how they use the scraps of this blanket in their little mouse lives. Very reminiscent of Jan Brett and how she has the side panels with another wee storyline happening (another favorite author of ours). So beyond the reading of the storys words, you also are looking on each page to see what’s new, the mother has a baby, then you watch how he gets older on the upcoming pages, the mouse house changes, there is more time spent looking at the illustrations then there is actually reading the words, and those are the favorite kind of stories in our house.

A blurb from her site:

If you read the words without the pictures, they could take place anywhere, anytime. It was only when I started doing the drawings, that I decided to set it back in the olden days, in a Jewish village like the one the song came from. The book then took on a whole new dimension for me. It became a way of remembering the world of my Grandparents.
The people in the streets and marketplace are actual portraits of people who lived in the shtetl.
My Great Grandfather was a poor, Jewish tailor.
While I was drawing, I kept being bothered by the fact that the button was lost. The kid in me, didn’t care if it was all turned into a story. That kid wanted to know where the button was. This led me to add the picture story of the mice who live beneath the floorboards, so that they could find the button.
Joseph’s little sister looks like my daughter, Ingrid did when she was a baby. Grandpa made her a wonderful blanket too. When Joseph loses his button she offers him her dolly but not her special blanket.
Something From Nothing is being made into an animated special by Portfolio Entertainment

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