The Nowhere Box
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
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Could George’s escape from his pesky brothers be a bit too successful? An ode to imagination —and annoying but indispensable siblings.
George’s little brothers wreck his toys and his games and trail after him wherever he goes. Try as he might, there’s just no hiding from them. George has had enough! So he commandeers an empty washing machine box and goes to the one place his brothers can’t follow: Nowhere. Nowhere is amazing! It’s magnificent! It’s also, however, free of pirates and dragons and . . . well, anyone at all. From exciting new talent Sam Zuppardi comes an all-too-relatable story of an older brother who knows when he needs his space — and when he needs his siblings — played out in charmingly offbeat illustrations.
Sam Zuppardi says he used to draw cartoons at school when he was supposed to be doing work. Among other things, he has worked in a book warehouse, a bookstore, and a toy store, and is currently working with children. The Nowhere Box is his first picture book. He lives in England.
Zuppardi’s art, done in mixed media, is the perfect complement to a tale about young boys and imagination. His rough, sketchy style..., bright palette and prominent use of cut, torn and colored cardboard gives readers a kid’s perspective and makes it seem as if this truly is the siblings’ story. ... 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.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The natural cycle of an older brother's exasperation, longing for solitude and eventual return to the cheery noise of his brothers plays out in a funny fashion in Sam Zuppardi's 'The Nowhere Box'... The young reader will cheer for George but also feel a pang for the boys he left behind. ... [An] exuberantly illustrated picture book.
—The Wall Street Journal
George’s plight will be familiar to kids dealing with exasperating brothers and sisters or a budding sense of introversion, and his isolationist escapism is treated both gently and enthusiastically. Zuppardi’s untidy illustrations in acrylic and pencil are kid-inspired with their scratchy, repeated outlines and thick, unevenly applied coloration; cardboard is used in the presentation of George’s imagined worlds in Nowhere, giving the pictures a rough, three-dimensional whimsy and providing a clever nod to the box itself. George—whose red striped shirt and boxy imagination are reminiscent of Watterson’s Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes in iconicity if not in nature—and his brothers are little more than glorified stick figures with huge heads, yet just a few facial details allows them to be strikingly expressive. Bound to appeal to a wide range of kids because of its celebration of both collaborative and solitary play, this could be used in a storytime about siblings or imagination...
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books