The illustrations in Nicky NoFace and the Face Critters: The boy who lost his senses, are the first things that make this book a standout. They are of the caliber of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” and Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon.” They’re quirky, colorful and funny and both children and adults will find them enchanting. The story is charming, fantastic and filled with a band of kooky characters, including the hero, Nicky, a twelve-year-old boy with 2 different colored eyes and a slightly wonky ear. Nicky finds that his eyes, ears, nose…all of his senses…have been kidnapped by a band of malevolent circus performers bent on getting revenge against his sick father, who put them out of work. He can no longer control his ability to see, taste, or hear and if he doesn’t get his senses back by midnight, they will all shrivel up and die. In order to save his sick father, Nicky must find a way to gather the “face critters” back up and get them back where they belong: on his face.
In the end, this is a story of the love of a child for his father and the lengths that we will go to in order to aid the ones we love. It is hard to imagine a child (or parent reading to one) who wouldn’t love this book. This book is suitable for young children or slightly older children who are at the intermediate stage of learning to read on their own.
Vimal Vaz is an author of both children’s books and psychological thrillers for adults. Born in Kenya and raised in London, he now lives in Hong Kong. Vaz says, about his creative process, “I write stories from my heart. What that means is my creative processes do not work in terms of selecting a genre to write in. Stories get formed in my head from all kinds of sources and if they gather enough momentum then I’ll start to write.”