ON A MAGICAL DO-NOTHING DAY by Beatrice Alemagna
Kirkus Star

ON A MAGICAL DO-NOTHING DAY

by ; illustrated by ; translated by
Age Range: 6 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Depressed by another rainy weekend in the country cabin, a shaggy-haired, bespectacled, white child wallows on the sofa, numbing malaise with a hand-held video game.

Mom finally turns the kid out-of-doors, but the gaming device is stealthily pocketed on the way. The narrator (whose gender remains ambiguous) holds the game “tightly,” hoping “it would protect me from this boring, wet place.” A stumble launches it into icy waters and the child into the forest without technological armor. Marvelously murky illustrations transmit the myriad textures, shapes, and density of the natural world under a mist of rain. Linear and circular forms abut one another, edging and overlapping, placing readers amid smooth stones, coned mushroom caps, button-y buds, and round leaves as well as driving rain, spiky branches, and prickly pine needles. The child’s phosphorescent blaze orange coat glows amid the mossy greens of the forest. Alemagna’s captivating artwork magnifies the forest’s magic, while her language, via Davis’ translation, offers an authentic pre-adolescent voice (“This COULD NOT be happening to me!”) that’s eventually left almost breathless by nature: “I felt a sense there was something special close by. That I was surrounded.” The child’s ultimate decision to keep her outdoor awakening private once home will resonate with young people just making their own discoveries and finding them precious.

An effective argument for unplugged exploration, submitted through startlingly beautiful words and pictures. (Picture book. 6-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-06-265760-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2017




BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2017 TO CONNECT KIDS WITH NATURE:

ChildrenON A MAGICAL DO-NOTHING DAY by Beatrice Alemagna
by Beatrice Alemagna
ChildrenWHERE'S RODNEY? by Carmen Bogan
by Carmen Bogan
ChildrenA WALK IN THE FOREST by Maria Dek
by Maria Dek

MORE BY BEATRICE ALEMAGNA

ChildrenTHE 5 MISFITS by Beatrice Alemagna
by Beatrice Alemagna
ChildrenWHAT IS A CHILD? by Beatrice Alemagna
by Beatrice Alemagna
ChildrenTHE WONDERFUL FLUFFY LITTLE SQUISHY by Beatrice Alemagna
by Beatrice Alemagna

MORE BY JILL DAVIS

ChildrenORANGUTANS ARE TICKLISH by Jill Davis
by Jill Davis
ChildrenTHE FIRST RULE OF LITTLE BROTHERS by Jill Davis
by Jill Davis
ChildrenMY BUSY DAY by Jill Davis
by Jill Davis

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenUNPLUGGED by Steve Antony
by Steve Antony
ChildrenSMON SMON by Sonja Danowski
by Sonja Danowski
ChildrenA WALK IN THE FOREST by Maria Dek
by Maria Dek