Nop is a scrappy little bear that lives atop of pile of crumbling tumbling forgotten things in a place soft with dust. He has ample time to ponder his past and speculate his future but he’s unable to identify his true presence for he is not sure where he belongs. Could it really be here in Oddmint’s dust encrusted Dumporeum?
It’s a strange place, the Dumporeum, where the forgotten things refuse to remain buried. Every night they tinker and mend, experimenting with buttons and bows to make themselves more alluring to prospective buyers. Nop tries too, but none of the scarves or spangles suit this bedraggled little brown being. So he watches, alone as every morning individuals from the pile of raggedy toys find someplace wonderful to go.
Left with nothing but his new red bow and his own thoughts, Nop rescues an idea, a dream to escape the ordinariness of his world and set sail into the unknown. With a little ingenuity and a lot of cross-stitching, Nop’s plan is soon afloat but where does his fantastical invention take him? Where will he land? And what will he encounter in his search for answers.
Caroline Magerl is an artist with an eye for the abstract and the gift of storytelling through brushstroke. Her artwork is fiercely unique, relaxed but purposeful, gentle yet powerful, whimsical yet laden with modern day meaning. Couple that with her consummate ability to sew words into exquisite narrative tapestries and you’ve got a picture book that oozes heart and wonder.
Nop is no exception. This scruffy little bear personifies childhoods left behind, love grown old but also the universal need to feel a sense of belonging and purpose. No one takes much notice of Nop lost amidst the clutter of the Dumporeum. Those who co-exist with him rush about just as life can create a whirlpool of chaos without ever really taking you anywhere. Yet he manages to find the courage and tenacity to take action and change his circumstances thus demonstrating to young readers and adults alike, that change is possible and acceptance need not be anchored to one spot or one thing for time eternal. Nop finds what he is looking for because of his desire to find his someplace wonderful, proving along the way you don’t have to have wings to fly.
Nop is appealing on many levels; from a visual view point it simultaneously caresses and enlivens your senses. It reminds me of a short story I penned once about a lonesome jack-in-box from a time I lived in Antibes. Real life is a powerful motivator for storytelling and like Caroline’s, my toy had a tale that wanted to live on through story. Nop is such a tale and a toy who embodies hope, tenacity, serendipity, purpose and love.
Author: Caroline Magerl
Illustrator: Caroline Magerl
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, $26.99
Publication Date: November 2019
For ages: 3 – 7
Type: Picture Book
Buy the Book: Walker Books Australia, Boomerang Books
For your chance to WIN a copy of this sublime new picture book, be sure to enter the NOP GIVEAWAY before Saturday 16 November! Competition OPEN NOW.