On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

A sulking boy and his busy mother arrive at their holiday home in the rain. Our narrator is sent outside to play and on his journey loses his games console. From this, Beatrice Alemagna weaves the story of a child’s reconnection with his natural environment.

Pencil, watercolour and digital collage combine to make a dense, textured and intricate world that seems to come straight from the hand of the narrator. We are immersed in a world where Martians tumble out of consoles and infinite wonder lies just beneath the surface of things. Watercolours evoke the sodden earth, while the rich colour palette transports us to the lush countryside. Of particular note is the range of facial expressions on display – Alemagna somehow captures the subtle differences between the joy of tasting raindrops dripping from leaves and the delight of feeling the wind blow through your hair. Each page is exquisite, and something new is unearthed with each viewing. There is a moment when the young narrator looks in the mirror and sees his dad looking back: an entire layer of the story surfaces just through their expressions. Alemagna is an autodidactic artist who adapts and hones her style to suit each story. This results in a deep sense of richness and integrity. The text of the story is told through first-person narrative in a voice as singular and clear as the artwork. From the sulky beginnings to the power struggle and eventual reconnection, the tone is pitch perfect. A celebration of the real and the magical of family life.

Book Cover - On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
Author/Illustrator
Publisher
Reviewer
Publication Date
September 2021
Format
Hardback
Pages
48
ISBN
9780500651322