Review of The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi

The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
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. (From


Release date: November 12th, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 40
Source: Library book

I honestly don’t know why this book doesn’t have a 5 star rating on Goodreads. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be a great book to show my Littles the power of imagination and creativity. And if you’re a parent or caregiver stuck at home with the little ones this summer, you know just how useful having an imagination is.

See, Little S is going through that phase right now in which every other word is “I’m bored!”. She constantly wants me to play with her, but I work from home; though I try to do one “special activity” with the girls each day, I just can’t play with them all day. The funny thing is, Little E (who is only 9 months old) is totally cool with that. She’ll play on her own all day. It’s Little S who can’t figure out what to do with herself. I don’t get that. As a 7-year-old child, I literally disappeared into the back yard from morning to nighttime, with reluctant breaks for meals. So why is my 7-year-old so bored?

The problem, I’ve realized, is that she has no imagination. None. Nada. If I ever eventually convince her to play “pretend” with her toys, she just reenacts scenes from her favorite movies. If I ask her to write a story that we then illustrate with paints, she writes her favorite books (which she has memorized). She named her new stuffed animal “Wolf.” Can you guess what he is?

So, when I saw The Nowhere Box on the library shelf, I snatched it up immediately. I loved the illustration style, which mixes doodles with ridged cardboard. I love how much fun George has, and all the different games and worlds he creates, all inside the same cardboard box. And I love that even though he hides in the box to escape his pesky little brothers, he quickly realizes that he misses them. It’s a wonderful story, not just about imagination, but also about brotherhood (or sisterhood). Little S loved it.

Don’t get me wrong; Little S isn’t suddenly Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. But she now understands what I mean when I say “use your imagination.” Even more wonderfully, ever since we read The Nowhere Box, she has started playing with her little sister more. It’s a beautiful sight to see. So thank you, The Nowhere Box.

Our rating?

Five out of Five Stars


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