Tuesday, March 27, 2007

17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore

Before I begin, I want to say that I was very excited to get my hands on this book. I had heard great things! I was more excited to see that we had a copy at our local library. Unfortunately, my reaction after seeing the book was not as positive as I hoped. I am a sucker for illustrations. My kids and I love to pore through details and I am always excited to point out the various artistic styles. Like Charlie and Lola (favorite book characters in our house) the illustrations integrated real elements such as fabric and food that tied in with the pictures. I especially liked the gift bow pulled across the page when she wants to give the gift of food to her brother. So I really do like the illustrations. My problem was with the story. Each double page spread begins with the phrase, "I had an idea to...." followed by things like walking backwards on the way to school or gluing her brother's slippers to the floor. Then the opposite page begins with "I am not allowed to..." do whatever it was anymore. Maybe my first read through should have been by myself, but my kids saw the book in my bag and wanted to read it. Again, a nice cover that draws the reader to the book. So I began reading aloud. I thought, "What a neat concept. What a spunky little girl." But after a few pages I began to tire of reading the repetitive text. I also began to think, "Oh boy, I hope my kids don't get any ideas from this book." There are some spots where the spunky girl throws food, staples her brother's hair to the pillow, and tries to start a fire on a boy's shoe with a magnifying glass and the power of the sun. Then I questioned whether I was being a prude and maybe I am. Overall I just didn't get the book as it progressed. In the end, the little girl has an idea to say the opposite of what she means in order to trick everyone and make them believe that she is sorry. This book just didn't do it for me. Yet I must say I am a huge fan of Junie B. Jones, David in David Shannon's No, David!, and the beloved Ramona. There was a missing element in this story that didn't create that same naughty but likeable character.
Although only four and five, my kids did really like the book.

Find other reviews of this book at:
Planet Esme
Book Buds
Your Neighborhood Librarian


Anne said...

Many thanks for the link, and congrats on getting your blog started! Good luck with getting your MLS someday too. I know how that goes, with the little ones underfoot--but you'll get there. And think how lucky your kids will be with Mom knowing so much about all the coolest books.

Brooke said...

Hey, welcome to the blogosphere! I'm particularly interested in your views on kidlit's relationship with technology.