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Didn't Didn't Do It
     

Didn't Didn't Do It

by Bradford Morrow, Gahan Wilson (Illustrator)
 
Building a tree house has never seemed so impossible. Maybe the instructions are too complicated, maybe it's because no one can agree or maybe everyone is just plain clumsy; whatever the reason, Didn't and his friends can't seem to get anything right. And when they finally start making progress, they're in for a colorful surprise that might change their minds about

Overview

Building a tree house has never seemed so impossible. Maybe the instructions are too complicated, maybe it's because no one can agree or maybe everyone is just plain clumsy; whatever the reason, Didn't and his friends can't seem to get anything right. And when they finally start making progress, they're in for a colorful surprise that might change their minds about the whole project!

Bradford Morrow's nimble wordplay and Gahan Wilson's giddy illustrations give readers a colorful look at teamwork gone wrong and new friendship prevailing.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Morrow, an O. Henry and Pushcart Prize winner making his children's book debut, and veteran cartoonist Wilson (The Bang Bang Family) engage in some nifty word play reminiscent of the classic bit "Who's on First." A group of children set out to build a treehouse, but "it never got done." Why? First, a family of cute birds already occupied the tree. And second, the children's unusual names-Didn't, Doesn't, Shouldn't, Couldn't, Wouldn't, and Can't-seem indicative of an inability to move forward. The story and silliness unfold when two children first spot the birds and agree to abandon their portion of the construction: "Didn't didn't do it. Neither did Doesn't. Doesn't didn't do it because Didn't wouldn't." (The contraction names are set in colored type to distinguish them from the regular contractions that appear in the text. Additionally, the colors match the children's clothing, helping keep the characters' identities straight.) Can't soon follows suit, Wouldn't and Shouldn't fight over tools, little Couldn't eats the plans, and pretty soon everyone realizes they'd be much happier just sitting on a branch surrounded by their feathered friends. Wilson's loopy, oozy cartoons keep the merriment moving along-as always, his kids appear to be 6 and 76 simultaneously-but the real fun is in watching words collide. Ages 5-up. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
When characters have names like Didn�t and Doesn�t and Can�t, there�s a chance for a lot of fun with both word play and tongue-twisting. Didn�t comes to a tree prepared with lumber and plans for a tree house, only to discover a nest with mother and baby birds in it. So Didn�t and his friend Doesn�t decide they won�t �do it.� Add friends Wouldn�t, Shouldn�t, and Can�t, and we find that �it never got done!� Wilson�s comic style deals effectively with the absurd text. The cast of active children is a zany bunch; Couldn�t, with her frizzy blonde hair and toothy grin, the zaniest. The kids are clearly over their heads trying to build the tree house, while all appear to be content at the end, including the birds. The ink and watercolor double-page scenes are filled with action as wild as the silly text. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-2
A simple story becomes a tongue-twisting puzzle of contractions. Six children decide to build a tree house. The first boy to climb the tree is named Didn't, and he doesn't begin the construction because a bird's nest filled with babies is perched on a nearby limb. Didn't's friend Doesn't climbs up to assist but sees the problem. Wouldn't, Shouldn't, Can't, and Couldn't arrive to pitch in, but they're also unable to disturb the nest. The youngsters don't talk, but communicate through gestures while an unseen narrator tells the brief but convoluted story. The pen-and-ink and watercolor spreads in bright pastels reveal a range of perspectives-from the ground, in the tree, and from above in a bird's-eye view. The children wear the first letter of their name somewhere on their bodies to make it easier to remember who's who. While this looks like a picture book, it requires scrutiny and may only be understood and appreciated by adults.
—Maryann H. OwenCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399244803
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/10/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 11.26(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Bradford Morrow is the author of many critically acclaimed adult novels; this is his first children's book. He lives in New York City.

Gahan Wilson is an awardwinning cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The New Yorker. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

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