About the Holiday
So that time of year has come around again—the time change, but the good one, the one where we gain an extra hour of sleep. But what to do with that extra hour? Should we really spend it sleeping when there are so many other things we can or should do? The people who instituted Zero Tasking Day says “Yes!” Or at least they think we should take it easy and relax. In the spirit of the holiday, why don’t we stretch that one hour into…say…twenty-four? A full day of Zero Tasking soundsszzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Let’s Do Nothing!
By Tony Fucile
Frankie and Sal have run out of things to do. They’ve already “played every sport invented, painted more pictures in a day than van Gogh did in a lifetime, and baked enough cookies to feed a small country.” They’ve even played all their board games and read all their comic books. All they need is ten seconds of nothing and they’ll be ready to go again.
Hey! That’s a great idea! But how do they do it? Simple Sal says. They just sit in their chairs without moving an inch. They can pretend to be statues like the ones in the park. Frankie’s up for it, but it’s not long before he’s covered in pigeons that need vigorous shooing. Shooing is definitely doing something, so Sal decides they’ll be two giant redwood trees in the middle of a grove.
Things are going well until a little dog comes along and relieves himself on Frankie’s…um…trumk. Sal wonders where Frankie dreamed that one up. He looks around and spies his little dog curled up on the bed asleep. Well, Sal has an even taller idea. He thinks Frankie would make a great Empire State Building. “No silly pigeons or puny dog could rattle the likes of you, oh majestic one!” Sal states. “Can you do it, sir?” “Yeah!” Frankie exclaims.
But within seconds Frankie feels the creeping hands and feet of King Kong climbing up his side. “HELP!!!” he wails. If it’s a king Frankie wants, it’s a king he’ll get with Sal’s next plan. Sal makes Frankie lie on the floor and places a block on his tummy and one on his forehead. Frankie is now the king of the nothing doers, and he must keep the blocks still. No moving. No breathing. No blinking. Frankie’s eyes begin to burn.
“Close them,” suggests Sal, but Frankie reminds him that closing his eyes isn’t doing nothing either. Then Sal has a revelation: It’s impossible to do nothing. This changes everything! “You know what we have to do now, don’t ya?” Sal says….“LET’S DO SOMETHING!”
Tony Fucile’s laugh-out-loud romp through an afternoon where even boredom isn’t boring will have kids itching to do nothing with Frankie and Sal. Readers will relate as Frankie’s imagination gets the better of him during his few moments of inactivity. Wise-cracking, garrulous Sal and fidgety, reticent Frankie are perfect foils for this buddy picture book with a universal theme that’s resolved in a most kid-friendly way. Fucile’s cartoon-style illustrations enhance the humor as Frankie is beset by imaginary problems even when sitting still, and Sal patiently thinks up new scenarios.
For exuberant read-aloud story times, adding Let’s Do Nothing! to home or classroom libraries is certainly the thing to do.
Ages 4 – 8
Candlewick Press, 2012 | ISBN 978-0763652692
Let’s watch this Let’s Do Nothing! book trailer!
Zero Tasking Day Activity
Sleepy Owls Sleepover Maze
Picture Book Review