All About Nothing

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Pub Date 04 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 04 Apr 2023

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An artful picture book exploration of negative space and the beauty of nothingness. This mindful meditation encourages children to see the world differently.

Nothing is really something! What might be hidden in the space around things, and how is that space important? In art, this is known as negative space, but “nothing” can be thought of more broadly—as free time during the day or the space between people. When we allow ourselves a moment of nothingness, we make room for creativity and so much more.
An artful picture book exploration of negative space and the beauty of nothingness. This mindful meditation encourages children to see the world differently.

Nothing is really something! What might be...

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ISBN 9781623543525
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Charles Bridge for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC).

I gave this lovely children's book a four out of five stars.

First impressions from seeing the cover and reading the description:

The cover of 'All About Nothing' is simple but bold. There is a child on the cover holding their hands up in front of them, creating a heart with their fingers. There is no colour in the frame of their hands, nothing. I think that this cover would easily attract young children to picking it up in a school, home or library setting. An adult would happily pick the book as a gift or learning tool for a kid they know and care about.

The book description was done really well, explaining what nothing is and leading into the story with no lack of communication.

After reading the whole book my opinion is that any child, of any gender would enjoying this more than once.

The illustrations were tidy and creative and went startlingly well with the story.

I really enjoyed the premise because it's not something that's been done before.

The kind of people I would recommend this book to are children between the ages of 2-7 and/or parents and teachers.

As an afterthought, I would like to say that I really liked the silhouette style to the art.

What a great read, thank you again!

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This might be a children's book, but it's an unexpectedly profound read about the concept and abstractness of nothing. I love its message about nothing being everywhere and how it's not necessarily a bad thing despite the negative connotation. The illustrations are vivid and really complement what the book is trying to convey.

This is a very unique take on mindfulness that will change how your view the world. Highly recommended for all ages!

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WOW! What an amazing book that tackles the concept of what nothing is in such a clear, easy to understand way. The bold and simple illustrations featuring negative space are exactly the right amount of nothing. I had trouble looking away, that's how much I loved how the pictures detailed the concept of nothing. The splashy colors are a really great addition to the overall look of each page. This is a fantastic book to explain math concepts to very young children and just beautiful enough to engage older students too. Childen will learn that nothing turns out to be very, very important because it is, after all, something indeed!

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I enjoyed reading All About Nothing! This book deals with the concept of negative space, which as artists, we use purposefully and often for emphasis. Negative space is a confusing concept, how are you supposed to see something that's not there? This book uses paper cuttings in its illustrations to demonstrate negative space, whether in art, around us, or as the actual space surrounding everything and all of us. I think this book is a good introduction to the idea, but I think it would be good in a learning environment to demonstrate more examples of negative space in art or nature as well to get the point home. Over all, I did really like All About Nothing and will definitely use it in my classroom.

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This picture book discusses the idea of nothing, as in beginnings and ends, negative space and feelings of loneliness. The illustrations are really neat, they look 3D because of the use of negative space and seem like they are made of overlapping pieces. The images are mainly black and white with a light coloured background, or vice versa; light coloured with black on a white background. Some of the images remind me of optical illusions and I could see the visuals paired with the text being a great discussion starter. I think this book would be great for art class, both because of the concepts covered as well as the illustrations being a good mentor or inspiration piece. As a grade 3 teacher, I would recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in the 5-9 age range. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book!

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Wonderful book with beautiful contrasting images.

I never actually thought of nothing a thing until now. Reading this book opened my eyes to the things around me to look for the nothing.

I also greatly enjoyed the negative space art paragraph at the end. Great idea for an art project in class

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Thank you to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Pub Date: April 2023

I LOVE books like this, that introduce high concepts to children in a very easy-to-understand way. This one especially touched me because I am a mother who has made it my mission to ALWAYS GIVE my daughter to option to say no, and when she is stuck in a situation where she must do something but doesn't want to, I often tell her that she can do nothing for a bit until she's ready. Doing nothing is also a choice she has and it's a good one!

This book introduces the concept of nothing as a beautiful exploration of zen for children. The illustrations are perfect with the use of color and cutouts (seemingly) to illustrate the point. This, to me, is SUCH a powerful concept and this book is a perfect introduction.

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A cute little children book. It focuses on looking for what is absent. Stuff that gives rise to reality. Nicely written captions and very nice illustration. Recommended book to see the world differently.

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Lovely illustrations and some insightful ideas and meditations on nothingness great to take away at any age.

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//Picked,started and finished//
👀Ever happened that you pick a book,start reading it and boom you have came to the last page?

✨You know there are few books which are so short but have deep meaning to it.This was one such read for me.The author has done an amazing job in executing this book.The concept of 'Nothing' has been given a whole different experience and to be honest,I really found it intriguing.

✨When people asks 'what are you doing' I say,Nothing.But when I say nothing,there is everything.So this book and the lines of this book made me feel that. "NOTHING IS ALWAYS SOMETHING".

🤗Also,the design part of the book has been done in an amazing way.I loved the illustrations,I loved everything!

✔️An impactful,intriguing,short and crisp read which I will recommend to everyone.So,Vivy do give this book a try!You would love it 😙

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I absolutely loved this children's book (perfect for adults too!) which teaches how important "nothingness" is in every aspect of our lives. Without the nothing (negative space) surrounding the something, we wouldn't be able to see or distinguish anything. Without the nothing (quiet) that follows our busyness, we wouldn't be able to think, rest, refresh and restore ourselves. Without the pieces of silence in music, it would just sound like noise. This little book challenges our perceptions and reminds us how important it is to have and be grateful for the nothingness in our lives!

My thanks to Charlesbridge for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this children's book via NetGalley. It is scheduled to be published on April 4, 2023. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are freely given.

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This picture book introduces the concept of negative space in art and the reality of "nothing" as a force in our everyday lives. Although most people assume that picture books are only for young children, this one is suitable for a broad age range. It would be helpful for an art classroom, and also has an emotional component that people will find helpful for introducing mindfulness concepts.

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Within such brief pages, the book explored such an expansive concept, and did so in an absolute, consummate manner.
The book explores the main essence of nothingness and how it plays out in our lives and is all around us. (It made me think of mathematics at one point. How whether we accept or deny it, it's always there somewhere. If not eminent, then there in the nooks and crannies.)
This book is a wonderful representation of the balance of nothingness.
P.s: I especially loved the references made through art, and it was an insightful read for me as an artist too.

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I liked this book. It really allows for students to look at things through another perspective. I would use this to teach perspective. The art teacher might also like this book.

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Negative space is something that not a lot fo people acknowledge or focus on when it comes to art and the world as well. I think this book was a cute, little look into what negative space is, or "nothing" and how it can be used without being filled.

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We often think that "nothing" doesn't have any importance or meaning but this book helped in changing my perspective. In nothing, there is the potential for everything, from the blank canvas of an artist, to outer space. The contemplation of nothing can lead to even greater things. In a world where everything occupies our mental energy, we’re not making space for nothing. And "nothing" matters. It’s in doing nothing that we often have our best thoughts. It’s in nothing that we might truly face ourselves and maybe think about how to turn up better. And it’s in nothing that creativity has a chance to blossom. A great book to help kids look at things from a different angle and see the silver lining in every cloud!

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Really fascinating concept for both children and adults alike. I really loved the use of bold colours + the absence of colour to represent "nothing". Very clever and mind-opening.

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The book presents the concept of emptiness or nothingness in a different and interesting way, a way that enhances thinking and develops the way we see things, such a unique book for children(and adults too!), which doesn’t necessarily teach a certain moral value, but it helps the child to think differently, and to see things more creatively and cleverly.

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A great book about nothing! I really liked the illustration style, it is so simple yet intriguing. I would definitely read this book with kids.

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The art BLOWS MY MIND. Because…it’s cut paper. All of it. How? HOW? Not just the shapes, but also the black outlines? I’m predicting right now that this is going up for a Caldecott next year. The Caldecott is all about the art, and I’ve not seen something this stunning in a long time.

The idea of the book is simple enough: highlighting how negative space grabs attention, makes art, and gives comfort, among other things. It’s a quick read, but has some pretty clever bits.

This feels great for a library or classroom read, especially if paired with a cut paper craft afterward.

Advanced reader copy provided by publisher.

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The children loved this book, the concept just had them fascinated. The conversations that followed were wonderful. A great conversation starter.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Charlesbridge for the ARC of this!

What an interesting look at negative space for young children. My 6 and 9 year old enjoyed it and learned something new. The art being made of cut paper was so neat.

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This book beautifully describes the concept of nothingness using concrete examples. The illustrations are simple but effective and help illustrate the point. It is a helpful children's book on the concept of mindfulness.

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The book 'All About Nothing' by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Elizabeth Goss is a courageous attempt to introduce the deep philosophical notion of emptiness or nothingness to young readers in a way they may comprehend. They do it through terse sentences and plenty of large pictures — all of them illustrating the concept clearly. They promise that the book would make the readers see the world in a different way, and they are not wrong. Just to give you a hint, among the various examples that the authors present, you will find the space between people in a crowd and the space between leaves and branches of a tree. In most of the cases, the space itself forms interesting pattern and image, which is perceptible though not tangible. Just by a simple change in perspective, our comprehension of the outside world expands manifold as we are not only appreciating the distinct and obvious objects around us — something we have been doing till now — but also appreciating the various patterns and forms which simply ‘do not exist’ or rather we had been ignoring till now. If you are still having difficulty understanding what am I talking about then let me illustrate the idea with another example. In your school homework you must have made several artworks by cutting and pasting. You took a colour paper, cut out a pattern and pasted it on your drawing book or plain white drawing sheet. You used several colour papers and the result was an artwork in collage. Now, take a look at the leftover portions of the colour paper. Note the emptiness in the portion where you cut your piece. Although there is emptiness, there is also a definite form.

The success of the book will depend on the parent or the teacher who will read and explain the book to the child. As in the case of several other books that I have reviewed, here also a lot depends on the storytelling skills of the elder reader. The book opens doors to imagination and new ideas and is certainly unique in its theme and content. The only negative comment I have is regarding the book cover which could have been more colourful and interesting.

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