Reviews of Never Ever (Child's Play Library)

You say: a selection of fantastic online reviews of our book…

Never Ever (Child’s Play Library) by Jo Empson

“Jo Empson’s very humorous tale begs to be read aloud. Kids will have a blast pointing out the creatures of which the protagonist is comically unaware. Simple, repetitive text makes this a perfect book for beginning readers. Colorful, slightly abstract illustrations add to the whimsical quality of the story. As to the red-haired girl’s complaint, the rib-tickling conclusion provides an answer. If only she were as savvy as the readers of this gem. Never Ever is a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Winner, and deservedly so."

“My daughter (6) says, great story! And I like it very much... We also had fun finding the animals hidden in the pictures.”

"I'm fond of a book in which the protagonist says 'nothing ever happens to me' even as the illustrations make it clear that an awful lot does happen. I'll be looking for more by Empson."

"Hilarious! Adorable illustrations."

"Charming! Nothing interesting ever happens to this girl, except... well, you'll see!"

"This one is a perfect read aloud for the preschool-kindergarten crowd. The illustrations carry most of the story and will bring giggles of delight as exciting events happen unbeknownst to the main character. Very fun!"

"A little girl proclaims that nothing exciting ever happens to her, but the watercolor illustrations betray her and reveal that not only do pigs fly in her presence, but woolly mammoths double as bunk beds."

"This imaginative book would make a great read aloud for PreK-2."

"I really LOVED the premise of this book. Never EVER does anything interesting happen to the main character, until, it does! The illustrations are almost magical."

"After I read this I thought it would be a great book to inspire kids to create their own 'Never Ever' book. Because the story is mostly told through its picture instead of its words, young children could draw what would never ever happen to them or the character that they create. UFOs, superheroes, dinosaurs...their imaginations could take them in all sorts of directions."
"Never ever have I read a book that says so much with the same words repeated over and over. Jo Empson does so much with so little. Just as most kids think that their lives aren't as exciting as the stories in books and in movies, this little red-haired feels nothing exciting happens to her. If she paid attention to all of the crazy things happening around her she would notice that her day is pretty exciting. Not many kids get to say they see pigs fly, sit on the head of a gorilla and are swallowed whole by an alligator."

"What appear to be crayon and watercolor make this book come alive with kid-like drawings that have much more to them than first meets the eye. I found myself having to go back to a page before when a new creature would appear almost out of nowhere. Upon further investigation, I would see where the creature really was in the previous spread."

"This could be a fun book to read to elementary school kids and have them draw their most exciting day, or how an ordinary day could be extraordinary if they really paid attention."

Misc. 2nd February 2015

“Never ever have I read a book that says so much with the same words repeated over and over. Jo Empson does so much with so little. Just as most kids think that their lives aren't as exciting as the stories in books and in movies, this little red-haired girl feels nothing exciting happens to her. If she paid attention to all of the crazy things happening around her she would notice that her day is pretty exciting. Not many kids get to say they see pigs fly, sit on the head of a gorilla and are swallowed whole by an alligator.
What appear to be crayon and watercolor make this book come alive with kid-like drawings that have much more to them than first meets the eye. I found myself having to go back to a page before when a new creature would appear almost out of nowhere. Upon further investigation, I would see where the creature really was in the previous spread.
This could be a fun book to read to elementary school kids and have them draw their most exciting day, or how an ordinary day could be extraordinary if they really paid attention.”

Erica Goodreads. 18th June 2014

"Swiftly following on from her super-successful debut picture book Rabbityness, Jo's new book Never Ever delves into the inner most workings of a child's imagination. Oblivious to the fantastical things happening around her the little girl in this book, firmly grips onto her rabbity companion as they wander through the countryside unaware of the strange and wonderful creatures pursuing them on their adventure (EVEN despite at one point being gobbled up by one, which is a particular highlight).
This beautifully designed book has been thoughtfully laid out with a charming surprise gate fold ending to the story which will amaze and delight little Sniffers. A subtle, reassuring and utterly engaging tale written and illustrated with charm and wit.
Take heed readers, always look over your shoulder because you never know when you too may unknowingly be pursued by a magical menagerie."

The Book Sniffer. 6th February 2014

"’MUMMY, DADDY! I'M BORED!’
How often have we heard this plaintive cry echoing around ReadItDaddy Towers. Charlotte sitting in a room full of toys, with a shelf full of books - or walking through some of our brilliant local countryside as we drag ourselves out of the house for a much-needed walk.
In Jo Empson's follow up to the utterly divine ReadItDaddy Book of the Week ‘Rabbityness’ Jo successfully taps into the psyche of a little girl who claims that ‘Nothing interesting ever happens to me, Never Ever!’
As we follow the little girl's journey through the story, it's fun to see how oblivious she is to all the things going on around her. Seeing Charlotte's delight as she sees the events in the story unfold was magical, and there's an utterly brilliant ‘snap’ towards the end of the book that made her audibly gasp (in fact, that section - which I won't spoil for you – was definitely Charlotte's most favourite bit of the entire story!)
On our first read through, we were a bit ‘all at sea’ with this because Rabbityness is such a very tough act to follow. But as we read and re-read it (and it was asked for several times by Charlotte – always a good sign), I think she recognised a bit of herself in the little girl in the story – and I definitely did. Jo's brilliant way of getting behind the eyes of a child makes this something rather special, and the constant surprises and reveals throughout the story (including a fantastic fold-out end!) are a real joy.
Charlotte's best bit: I can't tell you, it'd spoil things too much – but near the end things get a bit dark :)
Daddy's favourite bit: An absolutely brilliant observation of child behaviour with a surprising and immersive little tale. Love it!" ReadItDaddy

Read It Daddy!. 6th February 2014

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