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*Nutmeg* by David Lucas

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by David Lucas
Ages 4-8 32 pages Knopf August 2006 Hardcover    

Bland, boring, tasteless “food”…all the time. Imagine chewing - and swallowing - cardboard, string and sawdust. Once is too often, but Nutmeg, Cousin Nesbit and Uncle Nicodemus have always had it. To readers it looks like they are eating toast, noodles, and a mound of rice, but there is only our imagination to create that reality.

Boredom has set in for the three; Nutmeg is the one to stand-up and take action. Even alone she finds things to do to occupy herself. On her solo excursion, she opens a bottle and is subsequently given a magical spoon by a wish-granting genie. The spoon stirs up all kinds of things, working hard to make Nutmeg’s wishes come true.

Nutmeg’s spicy red hair is a burst of color in the trio’s surroundings. It looks as if they are living among collectors and inventors; lots of neat gadgets heave off every page. The kitchen shelves, the sitting room, and the creek’s shoreline are a haven for the imaginative and the curious recycler. Then the magic-generating genie and spoon bring a rainbow of color to the story - and possibility to their lives.

David Lucas's 2004 picture book Halibut Jackson garnered much praise, and in Nutmeg he has created another book worthy of awards.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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