Never Ever

Never Ever

by Jo Empson
     
 

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Nothing ever happens to me.

Never, ever. Ever, never. Nothing.

Or does it?

Jo Empson’s debut picture book Rabbityness was published to universal acclaim in 2012.

Never, Ever displays her inimitable sense of fun, her love of storytelling and surprise,

and her delight in the magical world of the imagination.

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Overview

Nothing ever happens to me.

Never, ever. Ever, never. Nothing.

Or does it?

Jo Empson’s debut picture book Rabbityness was published to universal acclaim in 2012.

Never, Ever displays her inimitable sense of fun, her love of storytelling and surprise,

and her delight in the magical world of the imagination.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
A young narrator wanders through the pages with a constant complaint, "Nothing exciting ever happens to me!" She strolls past a flying pink pig, a hairy purple baboon, and a ferocious roaring lion. Continuing her oblivious walk, she fails to notice these three strange animals following her as she approaches a pond. Walking with her eyes closed, the girl saunters into the mouth of a crocodile. It is dark in there! Fortunately, she does not suit his taste and the crocodile spits her out. Continuing on, still seemingly unaware, she climbs a tall blue hill. When she gets to the top, she falls asleep with a pillow at her head and a blanket covering her pajama-clad body. The page unfolds to the size of three pages to reveal the girl sleeping atop a large hairy creature (an elephant or a mastodon?). The illustrations in splotchy pastel shades feature a girl with spiky red hair adorned with bows and a sharply pointed nose wearing a blue dress walking on squiggly legs and carrying a stuffed rabbit. The only time she opens her eyes is in the black scene inside the crocodile. The page extension seems unnecessary to the story and may be a problem for story time and other library use. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—One bright day a little girl clutches her toy rabbit and goes for a walk. As a pig with wings takes to the air, she says, "Nothing exciting ever happens to me! Never, ever!" Her eyes are downcast, seeing nothing as she stands on a purple gorilla in the tall grass and walks by a tawny lion in a field of yellow flowers. The lion's roar plasters her straight red hair around her face, but she does not look back. She crosses a stream on the backs of turtles and walks into the fearsome jaws of a bleary-eyed dragon. Her never-ever-ever refrain continues as the jaws snap shut, enclosing her in blackness. "YUCK!" says the dragon, spitting her out and pursuing the gorilla, lion, and pig. Examining her rabbit, she says "See? Told you! Nothing exciting EVER happens to me!" Then she climbs a blue staircase-actually the trunk of a woolly mammoth-to a bed with a coverlet of flying pigs for her nap. Delightfully droll watercolors will enchant even the youngest readers, who will see what the child does not. A marvelous black spread shows only the faintest outline of the youngster inside the dragon, while pinpoints of white suggest eyes wide open at last. The grand finale is a triple spread opening vertically to show the girl sleeping atop the mammoth. Humor builds as the simple text is repeated, leading the way to the next encounter. This treasure of a book, full of surprises, is a must-have for all libraries.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Who says closing your eyes hinders adventure? "Nothing exciting ever happens to me! Never, ever! Humph," grumbles a girl with coiled-spring red legs and scribbly-straight ginger hair. Holding her floppy stuffed rabbit, she closes her eyes and sets off on a stroll. They pass an orchard of innocent pigs, one of which sprouts wings and follows, aloft. In a field of wind-bent reeds, a purple gorilla stands; from a mass of shining yellow flowers, up pops a lion. The girl's eyes stay resolutely closed, even when the lion's gusting roar blows her hair and dress like a stiff breeze. "[N]ever, ever, ever, evereverevereverevereverever," she repeats, as animals emerge from the abstract, ever-changing landscape. Gorgeous secondary and tertiary colors, often watery and splashing, make a vibrant mix of saturation and pallor. Motion-filled lines create energy. Surprise and hilarity escalate, all rising from the girl's closed eyes, but is she really entirely ignorant? Perhaps not: The gorilla inquires "Ever?" and she answers; plus, her eyes do open at a certain critical point, yet afterward, even as she cleans grime off her bunny, she insists, "See? Told you! Nothing exciting EVER happens to me!" Her eyes-shut expression holds subtle amusement and defiance; this girl may know more than she admits. Eye-catching pictures and splendid forward momentum add up to a giggle-inducing tale with subtlety underneath. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781846435522
Publisher:
Child's Play-International
Publication date:
01/09/2013
Series:
Child's Play Library
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
821,048
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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