I Am Not a Copycat!

Overview

Hugo Hippo and Bella Bird are best buddies—but that doesn’t mean they have to be exactly the same. Does it?

Hugo is feeling pretty unique. Bella wants to be unique, too—she wants to be unique exactly like Hugo! Hmmm. Maybe Bella doesn’t quite get “unique.” And how can Hugo be unique if Bella is copying everything he does?

Hugo and Bella find themselves in friendly face-off in this cheerful follow-up to I Don’t Want to Be a Pea, which Kirkus ...

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Overview

Hugo Hippo and Bella Bird are best buddies—but that doesn’t mean they have to be exactly the same. Does it?

Hugo is feeling pretty unique. Bella wants to be unique, too—she wants to be unique exactly like Hugo! Hmmm. Maybe Bella doesn’t quite get “unique.” And how can Hugo be unique if Bella is copying everything he does?

Hugo and Bella find themselves in friendly face-off in this cheerful follow-up to I Don’t Want to Be a Pea, which Kirkus Reviews called a “charming story of compromise.” And whether you’ve been the copycat or the copycatted, you’ll identify with the simpatico pair’s search for distinction.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Remy Dou
Bella imitates everything Hugo the Hippo does. She wears the same things and does the same things—and that says a lot because Bella is a bird! When Hugo begins practicing his underwater ballet routine, Bella decides to copy him. If Hugo stands on his head, Bella stands on her head. When Hugo does a split, Bella does a split. Eventually, Hugo gets fed up with Bella's copying, but he cannot stop her; Bella is persistent. Bonwill's story takes readers through the satisfaction of being unique, but it also depicts the amazing results of teamwork. The inviting narrative makes reading with little ones a fun experience. In fact, the awkward placement of the story's dialogue almost invites caregivers to guide children through the text. Rickerty's illustrations are colorful, bold, and clear. He combines a variety of techniques to create surprisingly coherent layouts. In the end, Hugo learns that it is not so bad to have a friend that wants to be just like him, and Bella learns that sometimes she just wants to be herself. Reviewer: Remy Dou
Kirkus Reviews
Hugo the Hippo takes pride in being "unique," which causes tension when his friend Bella (a bird) tries to be just like him. For reasons that remain unclear throughout the story, Bella persists in her adoration and emulation of Hugo, whose dialogue makes him sound both full of himself and also quite uncaring about her feelings. Happily, his rebuffs don't seem to affect her, and she doggedly keeps up with his various moves in a complicated water ballet. "Bella, will you stop being a copycat!" he demands. "I am not a copycat," she responds, expanding rather flatly, "I am a bird." Then, instead of allowing the two to resolve their conflict alone, Bonwill introduces another hippo-and-bird pair, who show up poolside and say, "You two are amazing synchronized swimmers!" This compliment eases Hugo's mind, and they celebrate with ice cream. This time Bella takes the lead, with Hugo ordering "exactly the same" flavor she does, though she changes her mind so that they enjoy different scoops. Throughout, cartoonish digital art fails to live up to the promise of endearing line art on the endpapers, and it never adds much to this rather pedestrian tale. A picture book that tries and fails to offer a "unique" spin on the tried-and-true odd-couple–friendship formula. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442480537
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Bonwill grew up in Maryland, surrounded by books. She started writing stories as soon as she could hold a crayon. The author of I Don’t Want to Be a Pea and I Am Not a Copycat!, Ann has lived in many places, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Frankfurt, Germany. She now lives in Virginia with her husband, young son, and a crazy Welsh corgi dog named Arthur.

Simon Rickerty wrote and illustrated Crayon and The Peanut, and he also illustrated I Don’t Want to Be a Pea and I Am Not a Copycat! He has a degree in art and design from the London College of Communication and earned a Masters Degree in illustration at the Royal College of Art. He lives in rural Bedfordshire, UK.

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