NUT AND BOLT by Nicole de Cock

NUT AND BOLT

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nut, a mouse, and Bolt, a donkey, enjoy a beautiful friendship. Kind of.

Readers will be forgiven for thinking that it is a very one-sided one, as Nut seems to be doing all the work. She grooms him, brings food (carrots and sugar cubes), entertains him, and otherwise apparently sees to his every whim. De Cock places her line-and-watercolor characters artfully on white space, giving them just a few props to heighten the ludicrousness of the situation. Nut perches at the top of a ladder that’s braced against Bolt’s nose, industriously brushing away at the donkey’s teeth in one picture; in another, tiny Nut strains to hold a shade-granting branch above the slumbering ass. The list of Nut’s duties is occasionally punctuated by a refrain: “real friends would do anything for each other!” After pages of murine selflessness, Nut doesn’t seem to be demonstrating any impatience, but readers will be, and the text senses this: “but what does Bolt do for Nut?” A close-up of the donkey’s ear on a moonlit night finds Nut curled up inside, fast asleep. She looks quite snug, but really, is this friendship? It’s a pity de Cock genders her characters as she does, as the story feels a lot like a 1950s marriage in which the wife goes to extraordinary measures to keep her husband comfortable in exchange for a place to live.

Not since The Giving Tree has self-sacrifice been so celebrated. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-55455-364-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2015




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