In the land of noses everyboydy’s nose was different and everybody had a nose that did something special.
Except for Nog.
Nog has a pretty fine looking nose, reader’s will note, if size has any bearing. But Nog’s nose doesn’t do anything special. Everybody else in the land of noses has a special nose which does something special – whether it’s a fat nose for sheltering others from rain, or a long nose for picking fruit, or even a nose for balancing things on. But Nog’s nose does nothing – it just sits there on his face. Nog’s grandmother has been saying since he was a baby that he has a ‘nose for trouble’ but nobody understands what that means – until Nog smells an approaching pepper storm one day, and saves the whole land from being exposed – because in a land of spectacular noses, nothing could be worse than a pepper storm!
Nog and the Land of Noses is recognisably a Bruce Whatley offering – whimsical, funny, yet subtly ‘right’ in its message that everyone has a purpose or talent. Whilst Nog hasn’t discovered his nose’s specialness, it seems more to worry him than it does those around him, so this is not so much a story of being accepted as it is a tale of self-acceptance and discovering one’s self worth.
Whatley’s illustrations are, as always, a delight, with the whimsy of fantastically shaped noses complemented by fantastically shaped owners of those noses – some are bird like, others more like moles or elephants, but all beautifully rendered so that each character is distinct. The colour palette is a kind of gentle fruit salad , with lots of white space so the focus is on those characters.
This is laugh out loud funny and will bear repeated readings.
Nog and the Land of Noses, by Bruce Whatley
Scholastic Press, 2011
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