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The Gift of Nothing

by Patrick McDonnell



      Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the comic strip Mutts and he brings two of his star characters, Mooch and Earl, to charm readers in The Gift of Nothing. Big-eyed kitty Mooch wonders, what do you give a pup that has everything? He decides that all that is left is nothing. Despite the number of folks claiming to have nothing, do nothing, see nothing - Mooch finds the world far too full of somethings. But Mooch will not give up in his search for the perfect gift for his good friend Earl!

The book has a simple story line but the play on the word nothing might be a bit confusing for younger children. My five year old found it very funny, but I suspect she would have struggled with the idea just a year earlier. She also loved the warm ending - something any child can understand. The whimsy and fun of the sketchy two-color illustrations add to the charm and - really - I think this little book would be a good gift for a close friend of any age. The great blend of silly and tender would be likely to touch adults even more than kids - and sometimes we could all use the gift of nothing.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company / Time Warner
October 2005
Hardbound Picture book
031611488X
Children's Fiction Age Level: Ages 4 - 8
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Excerpt
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The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2005
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
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