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Tales for Tots Tuesday: Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman


I have to thank Beth for sharing Phoebe Gilman’s Something from Nothing with me.  Adapted from an old Jewish folksong, it’s a fabulous story with detailed illustrations.  (Keep an eye on the mice at the bottom of the page, they add something to the story!)

When Joseph was a baby his grandfather made his a blanket to keep him cozy and to chase away bad dreams. As with all well-loved blankets, it becomes worn and ripped and Joseph’s mother says it’s time to throw it out.  Joseph runs to his grandfather who he says “can fix it”.  And fix it he does! Grandpa manages to turn the blanket into a jacket.

The scenario repeats itself as each item gets tattered, the usable fabric determining what Grandpa can make next – a vest, a tie, a button.

But when Joseph loses his button, even Grandpa can’t create something from nothing. Yet Joseph discovers he can making something of his blanket by writing a wonderful story!

The story is told in a repetitive and rhythmic manner with excellent timing – “There’s just enough material here to make…” requires a turn of the page to find out the answer. Children will love guessing at first and then shouting out the answer as they become familiar with the tale.

The illustrations are bright and detailed. There’s a lot going on on each page which can promote discussion or even a game of “Find the….” Scholastic Books has also provided a teaching guide for the book which parents may also wish to use.

Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman is definitely a book that I’ll be buying.

Recommended for ages  3 – 8

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One Response to “Tales for Tots Tuesday: Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman”

  1. we love your books thank you so much for writing them , i gave my sister Daphne the book something from nothing 18 yrs ago to read to her grandson steven and now she gave it back to me to read to my grandson Leland he love it so much we take it were every we go , i will go and look for more of your books now to read to Leland thank you again , Grandma joannie

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