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I Didn't Do My Homework Because...
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I Didn't Do My Homework Because...

5.0 2
by Davide Cali, Benjamin Chaud (Illustrator)

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How many excuses are there for not doing homework? Let us count the ways: Giant lizards invaded the neighborhood. Elves hid all the pencils. And then there was that problem with carnivorous plants.... The excuses go on and on, each more absurd than the next and escalating to hilarious heights. Featuring detail-rich illustrations by Benjamin Chaud, this book is


How many excuses are there for not doing homework? Let us count the ways: Giant lizards invaded the neighborhood. Elves hid all the pencils. And then there was that problem with carnivorous plants.... The excuses go on and on, each more absurd than the next and escalating to hilarious heights. Featuring detail-rich illustrations by Benjamin Chaud, this book is guaranteed to amuse kids and their parents, not to mention anyone who has experienced a slacker student moment—and isn't that everyone?

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
This little book of tall tales could inspire slacker students to do their work—or at least try harder to amuse their teachers when the inevitable occurs.
Publishers Weekly
Chaud's crabbed pen-and-ink drawings give a distinctly Gothic sensibility to Cali's (The Bear with the Sword) sly collection of homework excuses. The narrator, a boy dressed in a suit and tie, negotiates with his teacher. "An airplane full of monkeys landed in our yard," he tries. Chaud (The Bear's Song) draws an army of monkeys invading the boy's study, swinging from the light, mussing his hair, and scattering his papers. "Elves hid all of my pencils," he offers. Things look good at first—the boy is in his place at his desk, his book open in front of him—but closer inspection reveals two giddy elves underneath the desk with pencils sticking out of their ears and noses. "Giant lizards invaded my neighborhood," the boys says, as a huge alligator holds a school bus in its jaws, and a lizard nabs the boy's homework with its sticky tongue. The other 20 or so excuses and their illustrations are equally entertaining. Even children who don't yet have homework will long to try out a few of these wild explanations for themselves. Ages 6–9. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Brilliant! Genius! Clever in the best way possible!"—Books4YourKids"

Chaud's illustrations, reminiscent of Edward Gorey, are as imaginative as the excuses."—USA Today, ***1/2 out of four star review"

Even children who don't yet have homework will long to try out a few of these wild explanations for themselves."—Publishers Weekly

A Junior Library Guild Selection"

This droll little book can be enjoyed for the cheek of the protagonist, the broad inventiveness of the excuses, and the scale of the whimsical illustrations."—Booklist"

Packed with overlapping images and detail. which will encourage careful observation and conversation."-School Library Journal"

Once readers pick it up, it's unlikely they'll put it down until it's finished. Especially if there's homework to be done."—Travis Jonker, 100ScopeNotes, a School Library Journal blog

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
When asked about his homework, the imaginative protagonist of this rambunctious picture book comes up with one amazing excuse after another. An airplane full of monkeys, a rebellious robot and pencil-stealing elves are all viewed skeptically by the bespectacled teacher in modish boots. Young readers will enjoy the way-out wackiness of it all, and the chance to hunt for the boy’s beleaguered dachshund in every busy illustration. The dark humor of the pictures, reminiscent of Edward Gorey and Charles Addams, will draw in older kids, who may be prone to label sweet picture books as “babyish.” Be prepared for some outlandish excuses from your kids regarding homework and chores after enjoying this book—and counter with a few playful ones of your own. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum; Ages 3 to 7.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This book consists of a list of excuses-entertaining, amusing, and implausible-for the absence of a boy's homework. The child's conflicts are familiar yet fresh: "A rebellious robot destroyed our house" and "We had a problem with carnivorous plants." Although there may be a slightly predictable feeling to the list, there is a surprising punch line at the end, which lends vibrancy to the tale. The Edward Gorey-style illustrations in pen, ink, and muted colors give the book a vintage charm. The giant lizards are reminiscent of Maurice Sendak's Wild Things. Each page is packed with overlapping images and detail, all in miniature, which will encourage careful observation and conversation. Cartoon lovers may be attracted to the whimsical alligator and dog on the cover. The diminutive size of the book and tiny illustrations make it most appropriate for individual reading, particularly for children who enjoy lingering on a page. The illustrator's humor is subtle, conveyed through meticulous sketches. Each page provides a small mystery as children try to find the missing homework among scenes of unfolding catastrophe. For example, a lizard's tongue stretches through the air like a giant slide on a playground; at the end of this bright red tongue is the book the boy was supposed to read. This well-crafted book should find an appreciative audience.—Jess deCourcy Hinds, Bard High School Early College, Queens, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Who doesn't want to learn new excuses for unfinished assignments? That's just what this title offers—26 outlandish solutions to that "What to say?" dilemma. When a boy is questioned by his teacher about the missing homework, he thinks fast. The ideas fire in rapid succession, from being attacked by Vikings and hiding escaped convicts in his bedroom to giving his pencils to Robin Hood and sacrificing workbooks to heat his home. Chaud's ink-and-watercolor scenes vary from single- to double-page spreads, with simpler compositions than in The Bear's Song (2013), although there are some crowd scenes, as when the "famous director asked to use my bedroom to shoot his new movie." Cowboys, Indians on horseback and glamorous women make themselves at home, surrounded by the railroad track and film crew. Shades of red and green dominate the palette, lending a sense of uniformity to an otherwise diverse range of settings and characters. The combination of the boy's formal attire—a dark suit and bright red tie—and his long, unruly hair casts uncertainty as to his veracity, until the teacher pulls out the book from behind her back to reveal the same one in readers' hands; the game is up. Ultimately, "list" books wear thin, and this is no exception. It will likely be passed around, but repeated readings are not particularly rewarding. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Benjamin Chaud is a well-known French author and illustrator of more than 60 books, including The Bear's Song. He lives in the southeast of France.

Davide Cali is an illustrator, cartoonist, and children's book author. He has published more than 40 books including The Bear with the Sword, I Can't Wait, and A Dad Who Measures Up. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He lives in Milan, Italy.

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I Didn't Do My Homework Because... 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Students rejoice! No more do you need the old line - &rdquo;The dog ate my homework.&rdquo; This book is stuffed with new and exciting reasons why you didn&rsquo;t do your homework! In this book you&rsquo;ll find creative answers for non-homework doing. Like: &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t do my homework because&hellip;&rdquo; giant lizards invaded&hellip; my dog got eaten by another dog&hellip; rebellious robots&hellip; lost armadillos&hellip; and much, much more! Just make sure your teacher hasn&rsquo;t read the same book. Opinion- As a kid, do I really have to tell you why I like this book after the description? Okay, I will. This book is hilarious! Each excuse gets wilder than the next. The book is one that all kids can enjoy. The illustrations are AWESOME! I love the wildness, and I love the kid&rsquo;s hair. These are magnificent, the style of them is humorous and well-done. Mr. Cali and Mr. Chaud created a hilarious book together. The ending of the book is great (let&rsquo;s just say his teacher is &ldquo;on to&rdquo; the boy). I recommend this to any child who has forgotten their homework, forgets their homework, or will forget their homework or is just too lazy to do it. ;) I don&rsquo;t recommend this to teachers (for obvious reasons). ;) *NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book in France while on vacation and it's hysterical. The illustrations could not be cuter. Kids will love the humor--not to mention the excuses.