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The Gift of Nothing    by Patrick McDonnell order for
Gift of Nothing
by Patrick McDonnell
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Gift of Nothing, written and illustrated by Mutts comic strip creator Patrick McDonnell, is a wonderful picture book, destined to become an instant classic. The story is enhanced by minimalist illustrations, which are black, highlighted by touches of pink, with a great deal of white space.

One special day, Mooch the cat decides to give his best friend Earl (a dog) a gift. But what to give? Earl already has a bowl, a bed and a chewy toy. Mooch wonders what is suitable for someone who has everything. He has a brainwave. He'll give nothing. But, in a world 'filled with so many somethings', this cute feline wonders 'where could he find nothing?' His quest fills the rest of this delightful picture book with light irony, humor - and subtle lessons for all ages.

When Mooch stops looking, guess what he finds? Give The Gift of Nothing for any age or occasion; I guarantee it will be treasured and re-opened often.

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