Annoying siblings drive an imaginative young boy to “Nowhere,” but loneliness and a lack of good villains draw him home.
George’s two little brothers, unnamed Everysiblings, are gleefully wrecking his imaginative play, destroying and toppling with abandon. Worse, George has no place he can get away from them. Finally, he answers their “Where are you going?” with “Nowhere,” and the box from the washing machine (and a marker and scissors) will help him get there. Climbing in, with helmet, goggles and flashlight, he pushes a button and arrives in Nowhere—a “vast and empty” place. But by upending his box, he spills out all sorts of building materials to fuel his exuberant adventures; meanwhile, his brothers search the house for him. But in Nowhere, without dragons and pirates to fight, the novelty of being alone soon wears off, no matter the loopy roller coaster or cool rocket, and George heads home to a joyful sibling reunion. Zuppardi’s art, done in mixed media, is the perfect complement to a tale about young boys and imagination. His rough, sketchy style (people are little more than stick figures with big heads), bright palette and prominent use of cut, torn and colored cardboard give readers a kid’s perspective and makes it seem as if this truly is the siblings’ story.
While the parallels to Max are obvious, George shows readers how imagination (and a few simple household items) can transport them to another world…and the ties that will bring them home. (Picture book. 4-8)