The Nobble is an unusual kind of creature, some type of mishmash between a human and a nymph, a fairy and a benevolent goblin. Someone who thinks he might be invisible because he likes to hang out in places where “nobody else ever went.”
“He used to take his naps, for instance, in the bottom rung of the number eight, and you don’t come across too many other things in the number eight, or not often anyway.
And sometimes he went to play in the space between Wednesday and Thursday, and naturally you’d have to expect that he’d be mostly by himself there, because in that little space there really wasn’t much to see at all, except way off in the distance a little glow like a radio dial that the Nobble decided was probably something even farther away, between Friday and Saturday, maybe.”
After “about four thousand three hundred and twenty-three years and three months or so,” the Nobble decided to explore the world, to see if there was something out there or someone other than himself. He has adventures and makes discoveries, tries out new things like doors and he walks on roads. And then, with the help of a little friend, he finds something truly amazing.
“You’re a Nobble,” said the Nobble.
“And you are, too – you’re a Nobble, too,” said the other Nobble.
“I thought I was the only person like me,” said our Nobble,
“And I thought I was the only person like me,” the other Nobble answered.
“This is wonderful,” said our Nobble. “You have beautiful huge eyes and dangly ears and long hair and finger claws and a bunch of very nice toes. And you also look very friendly.”
And the other Nobble said, “You look friendly, too. In fact, you look perfect. Would you like to be my friend?”
“I certainly would,” said our Nobble. “It’s a little sad out there in the twirls on top of the oak leaves and the swirls under the waves of the sea.”
“I know,” said the other Nobble. “Even in the curlicues inside flowers and the big boxes in shooting stars.”
C.K. Williams is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (it is easy to see why, for this is one of the most beautifully lyrical and poetic children’s books I’ve ever read) and Stephen Gammell is a Caldecott medalist who has illustrated numerous children’s books we’ve enjoyed (I Know An Old Teacher, by Anne Bowen; The Relatives Came, by Cynthia Rylant; Hey Pancakes! by Tamson Weston, just to name a few).
And, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know why I absolutely adore this children’s picture book, why its message is particularly poignant, and why it had me slightly teary-eyed while reading it to Betty and Boo. It has such a wonderful message for kids of all ages, especially those who view themselves as different.
Which, come to think of it, is all of us.
We are all Nobbles.
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.