“Let’s Do Nothing!” by Tony Fucile
c.2009, Candlewick Press
$16.99 / $19 Canada
Here we are, halfway done with summer and you think you’ve done it all.
You’ve been to the mall with your friends a dozen times. You’ve read practically everything in the library. You’re so tired of riding your bike that just thinking of a bike ride makes you bored. You’ve gotten to all the highest levels of your video games and it’s no fun to play them any more (and Mom won’t let you get new ones). Going to the park or the waterslide with your family? Been there, done that.
So what can you do next? Read the new book “Let’s Do Nothing!” by Tony Fucile, and you might get a few ideas.
Frankie and Sal had done it all this summer. They had played every game ever invented, baked cookies (and ate them), drew and colored thousands of pictures, and read all their comic books three times. So what is there left to do?
How about nothing? How about ten seconds of absolutely not a thing?
Sal pulled two chairs into the middle of the room. He told Frankie to sit and not move. Not one bit, not an inch. They would pretend to be stone statues, like the ones you see in the park. Statues do nothing very well, and so could Sal and Frankie.
But as Frankie imagined being a stone statue, he also imagined pigeons. Ick. So much for being still as a statue.
Then Sal told Frankie to be quiet, like a big tree. But there was a dog in the room, and you know what dogs do to trees.
And pretending to be a giant building is hard, too, if you’ve been watching lots of old movies. Getting really annoyed, Sal made Frankie the King of the Nothing Doers.
Doing nothing is hard. In fact, it’s almost impossible. So when Sal realizes something really, really big, it gives the boys a new idea for the rest of the summer.
Have your kids been invoking The “B” word a lot lately? You won’t have to worry about them being Bored if you give them this clever little book.
Author and illustrator Tony Fucile is a long-time cartoonist and animation designer, and the pages here reflect that strongly: as I was looking through “Let’s Do Nothing!” for the fourth time, I was reminded of classic cartoons from my childhood. It’s almost as if animation cells were picked out of a feature film and made into a book.
The silly story of two little boys with overactive imaginations and plenty of time on their hands will have kids laughing and trying to do nothing themselves. Pay close attention to — and point out to your kids — the details, particularly Sal’s facial expressions. Those, alone, are worth seeing over and over again.
Though it’s probably considered a picture book for littler children, I really think kids up to age 9 would love to hear this story read aloud. So pick up a copy of “Let’s Do Nothing!” because nothing would make your kids happier.
Contact Terri Schlichenmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.