Parents' Guide to


By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Witty jibe at consumer frenzy older kids will get.

Nothing Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen will immediately pop into the reader's mind when reading this fun book. Suzie Gump walks into Otis's antique store, demanding to spend three hundred dollars for "nothing"... especially after the shopkeeper actually sells it to her, and the townspeople unquestioningly follow in her footsteps buying up all the rest of "nothing" in town. In this case, however, Otis did not set out to dupe the richest lady in town, and it does not take an innocent child to set the matter straight. The lesson here is not so much about vanity as it is about the foolish things people do because of peer pressure, fashion, and consumer frenzy.

Older readers will get the point at once, and will shake their heads laughingly at the sheep-like shoppers. Younger kids may not get the joke until they have read the book through a couple of times, and talked about whether nothing can actually become something, or not, and what all the fuss is about. But they will still enjoy it. All readers will find the witty, off-beat watercolors engaging and fun to look at.

Jon Agee is a multi-award-winning illustrator and author known for his laugh-out-loud stories, dead-pan humor, comic illustrations, and wordplay, wordplay, wordplay.

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