On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

By Beatrice Alemagna,

Book cover of On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

Book description

A compelling, magical picture book with whimsical, stunning art and heartfelt, charming text, from award-winning illustrator Beatrice Alemagna. "Hands down, Beatrice Alemagna is my favorite contemporary illustrator," said the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street, Christian Robinson. All I want to do on a rainy day like…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked On a Magical Do-Nothing Day as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Besides the fact that the illustrations in On a Magical Do-Nothing Day are gorgeous, I love this story of a child turning a boring, lonely, rainy day into a magical (dare I say spiritual?) adventure—an encounter with “a world full of treasures that I could feel!”

I’ve often found that a life-changing experience of beauty comes after some difficulty or personal challenge, and this kid discovers—after being ignored by their parents, losing their favorite video game in a stream, and being drenched by cold rain—a breathtaking world that seems “brand-new, as if it had been created right in front of…

From Danica's list on playing in nature.

A little girl must endure a weekend at a cabin with her mom who has to spend the day working remotely. This leaves the girl to her own devices – that being her Game Boy. Bored stiff and crabby, the girl takes her game outside where she happens upon a pond with rocks reminiscent of the digital Martians she’s been fighting. When she jumps on the rocks to destroy the “Martians,” her beloved electronic gadget drops into the drink. Forced to entertain herself in the analog world, she finds magic in the pond and beyond. There are Jell-O soft snails,…

From Tom's list on pictures about crabby characters.

A girl is bored at the cabin playing video games. Her mom asks her to go outside instead and soon the girl starts to discover the forest and all its magnificent creatures… suddenly she has forgotten all about her video game and starts to look at her whole world differently! The earth-coloured palette, combined with the neon orange of the girl’s coat will draw you in right away and once you’re in, you are the girl and are discovering everything being alive in the most intimate way. Each page is a gorgeous artwork in itself but together they form a…

This story of renewal through nature begins with a mother and child going to the same cabin, in the same forest, in the same rain and the child finds entertainment in destroying aliens on a handheld game. When the mother takes the game away, the child finds it and steps outside into the rain, to play unseen. But when the game is lost in the pond, the child is whisked into experiencing the rainy woods with snails and mushroom paths, sunbeams through storm clouds, and a sudden fall that turns the world into something brand new. The illustrations in this…

I think every human can relate to the situation in which the character of this story finds herself. A little girl is bored on a rainy day and glued to her game. But when her game falls into the water, she’s left only with the nature around her to occupy her mind. What she once thought was another “do-nothing” day becomes an adventure of discovery. Her eyes are awakened to the life and thrills around her making her whole world seem brand new. The power of nature and the healing quality it can have on our souls is the underlying…

Where to begin with this book? French artist and writer Beatrice Alemagna captures the experience of that childhood boredom that a rainy day can bring, but takes us out into the dreary outdoors to discover all the squishy, rocky, slippy surprises that both internal and external dreariness can bring. The art is painfully wonderful—as dark as it is shining, sophisticated as it is childlike—as if the paintbrushes have been dipped in some mixture of muted melancholy and neon joy. If that isn’t enough, the magical do-nothing day ends on that note of restful satisfaction that only a do-nothing day adventure…

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day celebrates nature, weather, and all that can be found outside and just beyond a screen. The main character, at first, is distraught about the prospect of a rainy day spent without her video game. But it takes very little time for her to become immersed in the world outside her door, finding magic at every turn.

From Bethanie's list on seeing magic in the world.

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