even better than bloody dinosaurs

BY WHITNEY COLLINS

Sometimes you read a kids' book that is so dang good, you want to buy a copy specifically for the grown-up bookshelf. This happened to me yesterday, at the library, when I came across Let's Do Nothing! I'd been in the children's section for about an hour with my son (who'd requested a trip specifically to find picture books detailing the gruesome, meteor-related demise of the dinosaurs) when Tony Fucile's gem caught my eye. (By the way, just like celebrity mags, I always judge children's books by their covers.)

My son was unimpressed by the jacket, but I insisted that if he was going to check out five books on brimstone and suffocation, he also had to check out one like "this" ("this" meaning "literary"). And by bedtime, he'd had such a fill of apocalyptic illustrations, he agreed to let me read Let's Do Nothing! What a hit! Not since the episode where SpongeBob repeatedly blows out the crotch of his pants, have we laughed such genuine belly laughs.

The premise is simple: after "doing something" all day, Frankie and Sal try to "do nothing" only to quickly fail. The hilarious illustrations are spot-on; every quirk and twitch and bead of sweat show just how hard it is for a boy, particularly, to sit still. Not to mention, the disparity between the two characters is fabulous -- lanky and demanding versus squatty and earnest. It was enough to make my son forget about the triceratops whose eyeballs got sucked out by the sonic boom. And enough to make me order a copy for myself.