Friday, October 16, 2009

Let's do nothing! - by Tony Fucile

Let's do nothing!
by Tony Fucile

Ages 6-adult!

What would it be like, if a well known animation artist who has brought famous characters to life, such as The Little Mermaid, Alladin, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles created a picture book for children??? It makes you wonder, doesn't it??

It was entirely by accident that I came across this book, in my online search for multicultural titles at our library's website. The very title of it, that beautiful uplifting white background and those two very interesting looking characters on the front cover, just arrested my interest and I placed an immediate hold, not caring to read more into it.

When I went to the library to pick it up, among many others, I had a few minutes of wait, so I started thumbing through the pages...unable to contain my curiosity of what a book about 'nothing' could be all about! And it was all I could do to keep from guffawing out loud right there, right then. I am not exaggerating!! I literally had to clamp a hand over my mouth to stop the chortles from escaping. That is just what this book does to you...just from the pictures alone! I got in the car and fished out the book again to read it through before putting my key in the ignition. I haven't been **this** happy to read a children's book in a loooo...oong time. And I couldn't wait for Winkie to come back from school.

But I'm not going to wait that long to keep you in suspense either....so let me share a bit more. Concept wise, this story is brilliant. For here are two boys Frankie & Sal, who've done it all. Read books, done puzzles, finished colouring, played boardgames, played every sport invented (no kidding!) and just about every activity under the sun...you name it, they've done it. So now...what do they do???

Sal seems to be the one with all the brainwaves. And Frankie does a good job of going along with him on everything. Only he adds his own little twists to the story emanating from his hyper imaginative mind which leads him on many a merry dance. But these are the boys' personalities I am talking about. Back to the story! Two boys who've done everything...are now thinking about what to do next. Sal the mastermind, comes up with the idea....Let's do nothing for 10 seconds. All right. Ten seconds of nothing.

This should be fun right??!!! Don't you feel your appetite whetting for more of this 'nothing' business?? Ok. So they sit in a chair, all prim and proper, all sincere and faithful about doing nothing. But everyone needs a sort of visual aid right....to get started, to get into it...! So these guys begin by imagining they are a pair of statues, carved out of stone, the kind you see in the park. Easy enough to do no? Harmless even, I would think. Only, remember Frankie and his super fiery imagination??? Well, he has some trouble with it and the ensuing restlessness makes Sal change his mind and now, they become two huge redwood trees of California, standing tall and majestic and lofty and still. Just for 10 seconds. You can almost hear the timer ticking, when poor Frankie has another even more imaginative visual that disrupts his deep meditation process. Poor guy! I do feel sorry for him.

So scrap that! Because they are now going to be two tall skyscrapers in the Manhattan skyline and Frankie gets to be the Empire State Building, towering above all the others, with the best view in town! You'd think this would suit him just fine and his imagination might get open access to fly out into the wide sky, but nooooooo! It derails him here too and you feel his exhausting attempts to stick with it! So finally, Sal scratches his head some more and lays Frankie on the ground getting him to focus on the act of doing absolutely nothing at all. Not even blinking, not even breathing, just for 10 seconds. But Frankie protests...

My eyes are burning...he complains.

Then close them...Sal says.

But that's not doing nothing...he points out.

And THAT ladies and gentleman, is Sal's EUREKA!!! moment. You can feel the urgency of his profound realisation as he pulls Frankie up by his collar, presses his nose to his and screams....THAT"S IT!!!!!

What's it??? What? What ? What?

Don't you wanna know!!

But this is the exact points where my lips become sealed, and my fingers refuse to type more. And I'll leave you with that....hoping to have created a sufficient air of mystery and perhaps even an eagerness to STOP DOING NOTHING and START DOING SOMETHING to get hold of this book!! And if mere words alone aren't enough to motivate, how about a little something from the Tony himself, the master animator and designer??? Check this out guys...it just might be coming to your theatres this fall! ;)

7 comments:

Praba said...

What a delightful, cartoonish pick! Can't wait to check it out! :-) You know, me and suspenses/surprises dont go very well...you just can't do this, T - - well, dont tell me your fingers refused to type more because of the "lets do nothing" part..- I have no other option but to email you to find out if that's in fact the case.:-)

Lot of fun it was to read your review! :-)

Tharini said...

aaah dear Praba. But you must get this book. You m*u*s*t!! My lips are still sealed! :)

meera sriram said...

As I stared reading, I was reminded of Seinfeld's "show about nothing"! I think its 'mission accomplished' for you Tharini - we know which book is going on hold in some of our local libraries..soon":) Great find for all our kids! Thanks.

Praba said...

ok...ok... it's going to be a very tough 3 to 4 day wait before I get the book...! :-) I hope my local library has a copy. If I do get "my eureka moment", will email you! :-)

choxbox said...

Sounds like a delightful book!

Poppins said...

A really delightful review T! I wish I could find this book here - am going to scout and see!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

I had placed the request for this book ever since I read the review in our library ... yesterday was THE day. Cantaloupe and I read the book ... and its wonderful ... such innocence ... excellent. You know what after bed time reading, Cantaloupe wanted to read the book all by herself this morning and she did !! Says a lot about this book ... Cantaloupe reading the same book back to back ... I am delighted to say the least !
Her profound judgement : This book is funny ... one boy is serious and the other one is clever :) (you know who is who ... don't you)

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