Out of Nowhere
Following his superb The Suitcase picture book, Chris Naylor-Ballesteros has created another compelling tale, this time on the theme of enduring friendship.
The story begins as the friendship is in its first stage with the arrival ’out of nowhere’ of caterpillar into the world of a beetle (the narrator). The two become friends eating together, and watching the moon come up.
One morning the beetle awakes to find no sign of caterpillar and unaware of the presence or significance of something close by…
Beetle waits, scouring the landscape until eventually he spies through his binoculars something that could be his friend. Heavily weighed down by a basket and trying to feel strong, he treks off through the forest to search,
until he discovers that it’s not her after all – he’s made a huge mistake. Now what? Feeling tired and dejected our seeker decides to rest and revive himself before attempting that long return journey. While so doing, ‘out of nowhere, someone suddenly arrived’
After closer inspection, glimmerings of recognition give way, to absolute joy and a celebratory sharing of food …
Chris’s portrayal of a friendship that changes and grows, (as cherished friendships do) is uplifting and profound. His uncluttered illustrations rendered in a minimal colour palette are highly effective and simply stunning, showing young readers/listeners the way to be a true friend.