The Adventures of a Nose

The Adventures of a Nose

by Viviane Schwarz, Joel Stewart

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A brilliantly original picture book about seeking acceptance offers a cleverly hidden image on every page.

Meet the Nose, a simple fellow who just wants to belong. It’s easy enough for the Nose to stick out, but will he ever be able to fit in? The Nose’s search for a place where he can be happy sends him wandering high and low, far and

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A brilliantly original picture book about seeking acceptance offers a cleverly hidden image on every page.

Meet the Nose, a simple fellow who just wants to belong. It’s easy enough for the Nose to stick out, but will he ever be able to fit in? The Nose’s search for a place where he can be happy sends him wandering high and low, far and wide, until he makes a remarkable and reassuring discovery.

First-time author Viviane Schwarz and first-time illustrator Joel Stewart have created a world both unusual and familiar - a world where there’s a special place for everyone, right under our noses.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Magritte, in a whimsical mood, might have done these charming paintings of a disembodied nose who seeks "a place where I can fit in, and stick out." The Nose, a pale and fleshy triangle, stands upright on two slim legs (one from each nostril) that wear tasteful gray flannel pants and brown dress shoes. Collages of maps, menus and rail tickets suggest how far the restless Nose roves in search of his ideal spot; in delicate pencil sketches and squarish color illustrations, the Nose poses in green landscapes and on street corners. This tale from a first-time author-illustrator team gets the tone just right. Schwarz's understated text conveys alienation; the Nose yearns for a sense of belonging. Meanwhile, Stewart's ingenious portraits show that everywhere the Nose goes, he unwittingly creates the illusion of a face. While enjoying a good book at the library (" `This one smells of ink, and this one smells of dust,' he thinks"), the Nose sits between reading lamps that resemble green-lidded eyes; the open pages on his lap suggest a white mustache, la Arcimboldo. When the Nose performs a "beautiful sneezing dance," symmetrical theater curtains recall a red mask; when he wanders through a market, two orange squash simulate eyes and a broad red sombrero indicates lips. In the end, the Nose reclines on a daybed (the bulging headrest forms a melancholy brow ridge) and a therapist reassures him, "Don't you see? The whole world fits perfectly around you... because you are a Nose!" Thanks to the surreal, captivating images, the diagnosis is as plain as, well, you know. Ages 6-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
What's a nose to do when he doesn't fit in anywhere? He sticks out, of course! This delightful tale takes readers on an olfactory journey of discovery, in which the Nose tries to find happiness for himself. First, he sniffs his way to the big city�a place that smells exciting, but soon becomes too confusing for him. In search of answers, he follows a cat to the library, where he encounters all kinds of unusual book aromas. He loves the library, however, he's not allowed to stay there overnight. As a result, he decides to join a canine friend on a visit to a nearby restaurant. After appreciating the delicious smells, he notices that restaurants are places for mouths, not noses, so he heads to the Pigeon Theater, where he performs a beautiful sneezing dance. Unfortunately, he doesn't like all of the attention he receives, so he leaves the city behind and explores the world instead�he climbs up tall mountains, he swims in deep oceans, he visits cold climates, he stops in tropical places�but no matter where he travels, he doesn't fit in. As a result, he pays a visit to the nose doctor, who sheds some light on the situation. After smelling the whole world, the Nose finally discovers that he fits in everywhere, even though he sticks out a little. Readers of all ages will enjoy the funny illustrations, as well as the silly situations. This is a charming story that will make a great selection for story time. Don't miss this one! 2002, Candlewick Press,
— Debra Briatico
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This is the bizarre story of a nose's quest for belonging. After searching the world over for a spot where he can both "fit in, and stick out," the Nose visits a doctor and learns that the whole world fits perfectly around him. His place is always in the middle, sticking out. Quirky mixed-media illustrations are expertly rendered and are in keeping with the story, but the concept-that of searching for a sense of place that is often right under our noses-is adult, making the book an imperfect fit for the picture-book crowd.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Schwarz and Stewart, in their first effort, have created a charming, original twist on the old "where-do-I-fit-in" theme, with a runaway nose looking for his special place in the world, "a place to fit in and stick out." He trots along in proper gray slacks and brown lace-up shoes (with his legs extending from his nostrils), traveling around his town (a library, a restaurant, a theater) and then sniffing out new locations around the world (a mountaintop, an iceberg, a Middle Eastern market). In each setting, as the nose pauses, elements of the background provide eyes and a mouth, subtly showing that he does indeed fit in wherever he goes. At last, he consults a doctor, who explains that the world must fit around a nose, who is by nature in the middle, sticking out. The final spread shows the nose in an exuberantly existential tabletop dance, celebrating with characters from the previous pages. Stewart's stylish, witty illustrations offer one full-page illustration (with the fun of finding the eyes and mouth) and smaller, related illustrations on the facing pages that complement the text. Will this beautifully designed story help children on their own existential journeys to both fit in with the crowd and yet stand out as individuals? Who knows? (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

New Line Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.38(w) x 10.54(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
6 Years

Meet the Author

Viviane Schwarz and Joel Stewart met dressed as ghosts one Halloween, and have lovingly haunted each other ever since. Of THE ADVENTURES OF A NOSE, Viviane Schwarz says, "We wanted to tell children how important everyone is, and how you don’t need to try hard to fit in or be special. One day I said for some reason or another that noses are particularly nice things, and Joel agreed. He drew a dancing nose, and then a parachuting one, and lots more doing all kinds of things - and always the Nose seemed to be in the middle of a face. I said, 'I wonder if the Nose knows that.' That was when we realized we had found a hero for our story." Viviane Schwarz and Joel Stewart live together in Cornwall, England, with a crocheted horse and several fish.

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