Review Blog

Jan 06 2020

Nop by Caroline Magerl

cover image

Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781760651251.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. When Nop looks around him in the Dumporeum he sees lots of goods just like him: old and tattered, unsure of where they belong, crumpled, piled in heaps on the floor. But each night many tealights are lit and the others get out thread and buttons and sparkle and mend each other so when people come into the Dumporeum the next day, paper bags are filled with the mended toys. But Nop is left on the shelf: the buttons do not look right, the scarves are too big and the ribbon too long. He picks up a discarded bow tie from the litter which has fallen to the floor and puts it on, remarking that a bear with a bow tie can go anywhere, and so begins to plan.
Next morning he stitches together the scraps and rags and string until he has made a balloon which takes him over the houses until he spies a small green space and he leaps from the basket into the arms of a friend.
This charming tale of friendship, of never giving up, or making a plan will appeal to younger readers as they perhaps grapple with the idea of making friends. Nop flies long way away from his home in the Dumproreum to find a friend, making use of the rubbish around him. Readers will delight in the detail given in the ink and watercolour illustrations, searching for the lonely figure of Nop on each page. The soft hues underline the transient nature of the Dumporeum, and the impulse to sneeze at the dust and heaps of discarded clothes and toys tickled my nose.
The endpapers too are a treat for inquisitive eyes, working out just what is meant by dumporeum, and searching for one such shop in their own community.
Caroline Magerl is an author illustrator known for Maya and Cat, and Hasel and Rose, both books about hope. Classroom ideas are available.
Themes: Bears, Loneliness, Adventure, Decision making, Hope.
Fran Knight

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