Out of Nowhere by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

This is a beautiful story that we have loved sharing this week!

Beetle’s best friend has gone missing!

He must find her! And he must be brave!

Every day Beetle and Caterpillar stay together sharing a picnic on the big rock looking out over the forest, and every evening they would watch the moon come up together.

Will he find his friend? And who is this very friendly butterfly? They do look familiar!

We had such a lovely time with this story – it is a real pleasure to read aloud and gave so many opportunities for conversation about friendship and change. It has been particularly poignant during this time over extended lockdown to think about friends and family members we are missing and how we have all changed through this period.

The illustrations are stunning and create a beautiful ‘quiet’ atmosphere to this thought-provoking and reassuring read. The monochrome nature of Naylor-Ballesteros’ work here, with flashes of colour, are moving and encourage the reader to spend time and not rush over the text and it’s meaning. The pencil work and innate texture adds to the feeling of tranquillity on each page.

Out of Nowhere is advertised for 2 – 5 years but it worked perfectly for my class of 8 year olds and lead to a very important discussion about friendships and change. Children recognised the happy/sad nature of this tale and empathised with beetles desire to be with his friends again. Many of them reflected on the friends they are missing at the moment but look forward to ‘finding’ them again soon.

This would be a perfect addition to any school library and I would recommend it highly as an empathy text for wider school sharing. Chris Naylor-Ballesteros’ first picture book with Nosy Crow was ‘The Suitcase’ (also brilliant!) and we love how he gives such space in his books for the reader to bring their own interpretations and allows us to explore how his story mirrors and reflects our own.

You can follow Chris Naylor-Ballesteros on Twitter and see what he’s up to next!

Buy your own copy on Bookshop UK and support your local bookseller.

Out of Nowhere was published by Nosy Crow on 14th January 2021 and we received a copy for an honest review. Thank you lovely folk at Nosy Crow!

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