International Rights

Something from Nothing

  • ISBN 9781443119467, Paperback
  • 32 Pages | Ages 5 to 8

Phoebe Gilman's beloved classic celebrates its 20th anniversary!

Joseph's grandfather made him a beautiful blanket when he was a baby, but now it's frazzled and worn, and Joseph's mother says it is time to throw it out. Joseph doesn't want to part with his special blanket, and he's sure that his grandfather can fix it. Sure enough, Grandfather miraculously alters the blanket into useful items again and again. But when Joseph loses the final item, even Grandfather can't make something from nothing. But maybe Joseph can?

Based on the Yiddish folktale "Joseph's overcoat," Phoebe Gilman's gorgeous artwork charts the transformation of the blanket and the progress of Joseph's family through the years, subtly teaching young readers about a lost way of life.

Rights Sold

  • Chinese Complex
  • Chinese Simplified
  • English (Asia ex. Korea)
  • English (Korea)
  • French (N. Amer.)
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

Selling Points

• A perennial favourite and bestseller • The kind of book that people buy several copies of, to give as gifts! • The shtetl setting resonates with the Jewish market, but the universality and charm of the story give it broad appeal as well. • Nine foreign language editions to date as well as an animated film adaptation.


  • Winner, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 1993
  • Winner, Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Younger Readers, 1993
  • Short-listed, Utah Children's Picture Book Award, 1995
  • Short-listed, Mr. Christie's Book Award, 1992
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2008
  • Commended, Antigo Sugar Maple Award, 1995
  • Commended, Canadian Materials Best of the Year List, 1994
  • Commended, White Ravens Selection (International Youth Library), 1994
  • Commended, American Bookseller Magazine's "Pick of the List", 1993
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice, 1992
  • Commended, Canadian Library Association, Notable, 1992