This book’s appeal lies in the fact that the title tells a lie.
A little sharp-nosed man with small, protruding ears, who wears a bow tie and carries a lantern, gives readers warnings against reading this book; it’s “boring,” he says. Accordingly, the story opens with only a white speech bubble on a black page with red undertones. However, once the narrator realizes readers will stick around, both the illustrations and the story get more interesting. As a teddy bear sneaks up behind, the narrator begins to find circus- and band-related objects strewn all over the place (a clown’s shoe, a trumpet, a baton…). At the story’s climax, a fold-out page shows exactly to whom the objects belong, celebrates the zany expansiveness of the entertainment, and gives young readers plenty of details to enjoy. The book’s retro look, matte finish, elongated format, and delightful speech bubbles make it a somewhat unusual find. And now that Ringling Brothers will no longer be visiting a town near you, this may be one of the few ways kids will get to experience circus fun.
A lively tale in which observant readers will discover—long before the narrator does—that in fact much more than nothing happens in this book. (Picture book. 4-8)