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Children's Fiction Imagination & Play

Nothing at All

by (author) Marie-Helene Jarry

illustrated by Amélie Dubois

Simply Read Books
Initial publish date
May 2021
Imagination & Play, General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3


Daddy would like me to be busy from morning to night.
But today, doing nothing is exactly what I want to do!

Clara is tired of her hectic schedule. All she wants to do is listen to the wind, count the clouds, and get lost in the magic of doing nothing. Why won’t her dad understand? Nothing at All! is an ode to the joys and wonders that can come from slowing down and living in the moment.

About the authors

Marie-He´le'ne Jarry was born in Montre´al, where she still lives. Nicknamed the “Intellectual Who Reads” when she was young, she has tried to do justice to this name by studying literature and working in translation. She has published a number of books for children. She loves to explore the world’s many mysteries and focuses on the brighter side of life.

Marie-Helene Jarry's profile page

Amélie Dubois is an artist living in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. She has worked as an artist for almost two decades in the domains of animation and visual effects. Her knowledge in the field led her to work as a visual effects artist in various post-production studios for television and film. Today Amélie is devoted to illustration. When she isn’t drawing she can be found walking her dog or playing guitar and signing songs.

Amélie Dubois' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Nothing at All:

"Highly Recommended. Think ‘mindfulness’ for preschoolers, and you’ve summed up the premise for this introspective and fun 32-page picture book. Throughout its pages, it breathes in and out, slows down the pace of an oftentimes frantic daily existence and encourages the reader to take a step back from an overscheduled childhood. While this book addresses a topic especially relevant today, it also encourages the importance of reflection - to delight in the simple act of experiencing the surrounding world - to observe, connect with nature, and, in so doing, truly understand joy from a child’s perspective.
The story’s lyrical text and engaging pictures combine to acknowledge the pleasure and satisfaction gained from taking a break from formal activities. This is great advice, especially in these pandemic times where not being able to participate in extra-curricular pastimes is often viewed through the lens of a hardship. The colour illustrations are captivating and beautifully extend Clara's intense and joyful appreciation of the world in her backyard. The images reflect her dreamy contemplation through the use of blurred edges and a muted palette and will surely draw in the interest of youngsters. For those unable to flop in the grass in their own backyard, Dubois has cleverly sprinkled plenty of opportunities throughout the book to slow down the turning of pages and to investigate her illustrations to discover hidden delights on Clara’s hillside. Each double-spread is enhanced with flowers, mushrooms, birds, squirrels, ants, mice, ladybugs, frogs, rabbits, and butterflies, all offering plenty of chances to employ skills of observation. Together, parents and youngsters can look at the blue and white endpapers to count the clouds and imagine the shapes they form.
Nothing at All!, a gentle picture book, would be the perfect addition to a school library collection and could spark great classroom discussions about mindfulness. It could also be used as an effective resource to enhance social emotional instructional activities. It would serve as a lovely gift for a youngster, subtly affirming and encouraging idleness and reflection and offering the entire family a chance to contemplate the value of simply doing ‘nothing at all’." — CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Amélie Dubois