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Something from Nothing [Hardcover]

Phoebe Gilman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 20.22
Price: CDN$ 13.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 6.54 (32%)
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Hardcover CDN $13.68  
Paperback CDN $7.59  

Book Description

Oct. 1 1993
A modern adaptation of this favorite Jewish folktale describes how the blanket grandfather had made for young Joseph is transformed over the years into a jacket, a button, and, ultimately, a story.

Frequently Bought Together

Something from Nothing + The Balloon Tree + A Treasury of Jillian Jiggs
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.14

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  • The Balloon Tree CDN$ 7.59

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  • A Treasury of Jillian Jiggs CDN$ 15.87

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Product Description

From Amazon

Winner of the Canada's Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award and the Sydney Taylor Award, Something from Nothing is one of Phoebe Gilman's finest books for young readers. Based on a classic Yiddish folk tale, it tells the story of Joseph, whose Grandpa, the tailor in a little village, makes him a beautiful blanket to keep him warm and comfy and safe from bad dreams. When the blanket becomes a little tattered and his mother wants to throw it out, Joseph takes it to Grandpa to see if he can rescue it. Grandpa makes him a jacket and, later, a vest, and finally there's nothing left of the original blanket but a fancy button. Gilman's storytelling skills are matched by her noteworthy illustrations--in oil and egg tempera on gessoed satin-finish watercolour paper--of the Polish shtetl where Joseph and his family live. But that's not the end of the fun--Gilman mirrors shtetl life with a little mouse family that lives under the floorboards of Joseph's house. Her truly remarkable book even offers its young readers a wonderful surprise ending. (Ages 4 to 8) --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

When Joseph was a baby, his grandfather made him a shimmering blue blanket adorned with the moon and stars. As the boy grows and the blanket wears out, the old tailor recycles it, in succession fashioning a jacket, a vest, a tie and, finally, a cloth-covered button. But when Joseph loses the button, even his grandfather cannot make something from nothing. With its judicious repetition and internal rhymes, this thoughtfully presented Jewish folktale will captivate readers right through the ending, in which the boy discovers one last incarnation for his beloved keepsake. Although her renderings of human faces border on cartoonishness, Gilman's ( The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs ) oil-glazed tempera paintings suggest the vivid world of Joseph's shtetl, with full-page cutaway illustrations recording the multileveled activity in Joseph's house. In an imaginative visual stroke, the bottom of each spread features the beneath-the-floorboards doings of a family of mice whose domestic life--from new births to Sabbath dinners to the outfitting of their entire home in discarded swatches of the blue blanket--winsomely mirrors Joseph's own. Ages 5-11.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When Joseph was a baby, his grandfather made him a wonderful blanket...to keep him warm and cozy and to chase away bad dreams. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite childhood book! Feb. 16 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My favorite book as a child and I still love it. Great illustrations and lesson of making new things out of what u have. Not just throwing things out when they get old :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Book Dec 21 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This classic story show how character triumphs over circumstances and how family values matter.
It makes a great gift for new parents! Highly Recomended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story! March 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a family favorite! A great story that is timeless, and teaches children about the simple things in life. You don't need a lot of things to be happy! Recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Something From Nothing Oct. 23 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for children, but I enjoyed reading it myself. The art work is fantastic, and the simple story is captivating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book great service July 13 2012
By peterf
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Product arrived promptly and in good condition. This is a delightful story about family and relationships and conservation and making do with what is available. The parallel story of the mouse family really pulls those being read to into the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives Me the Warm Fuzzies Nov. 15 2002
Format:Hardcover
One of my top 5 favorite children's books! The story line is touching, the illustrations are amazing! I recommend this book to young and old! Besides the beautiful bond between Joseph and his grandfather, I love the incorporated journey of the family of mice that is illustrated at the bottom of the pages - the little girl with the red coat and hankerchief covered head is also brilliant! So many stories happening in one book! A definate 'keeper'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to grow up with! Jan. 2 2002
Format:Hardcover
I've seen a few knock-offs of this story, and actually, they're all based on a classic Yiddish folktale, so I guess they have the right. But in my mind -- and my kids'! -- Gilman's sweet take on this tale of old-world frugality and love will always be the "classic."
Gilman's richly colourful paintings are full of action, vivid cross-sections depicting events playing out in all the rooms of Joseph's house, out on the street, and even in the cellar where a growing family of mice plays out a surprising "bonus" story of their own.
The characters here are all believable; Joseph is as mischievous and playful as any modern child. And the time flow in this book is exquisite: as in life, Gilman's transforms Joseph from page in subtle but certain stages, bringing him from early childhood into his cheder years.
This is a story kids will love to listen to over and over, and even adults will enjoy making new discoveries within the familiar illustrations. A superlative gift for any child, one which will grow with them and be cherished for years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book Sept. 6 2009
By MB
Format:Paperback
My son first heard this story at one of the Mother Goose sessions when he was about 6 or 7 months old. He just sat there for the whole story looking and listening to the educator, so I had to buy this book for our collection. Even now as an 11 month old he loves to listen to it although it is a somewhat lengthy story.
One day when he was cranky in his car seat on our way home, in order to keep him from crying I repeated over and over a line from the book 'Grandpa turned it round and round, Hmm, he said as his scissors went snip, snip, snip, and his needle few in and out and in and out...'
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