Nop, Caroline Magerl, Walker Books, 2019, isbn 9781760651251, RRP $26.99 hb.
Nop is a ragged little teddy bear at Oddmint’s Dumporeum ( I love this word, it conjurs up so many ideas to its meaning).
Nop is lost amongst a crowd of others – all toys seeking a new home. At night, as in many a fairy story, the toys come alive in order to mend one another and thus make themselves more acceptable to potential new owners.
The following day the shop is busy with every toy except Nop, having …’somewhere wonderful to go.’
But it is the rags that are leftover that Nop sees as an opportunity to find his own destiny rather than waiting on someone else to make it happen.
And so he sews a wonderful balloon in which he grasps for freedom.
The watercolours Magerl uses give such an incredible whimsical feel to the story, an almost dreamlike quality which draws you in and makes you want to examine each page for clues as to what is happening.
For me it is the use of the written language that is just as if not more enticing in this story.
…’In a place soft with dust’…’A crinkly paper bag for each…’ are just two examples of the life that is created with Magerl’s words.
This story is a fairy tale of the times: a child’s loneliness is tackled in a positive way, where the underlying message is to stay strong and true to who you are.
Before reviewing this book I read an interview with Magerl which I found to be enlightening as to what influences her work.
Teachers and parents/guardians will find this of interest too.
A lovely story,
15th November 2019.