Not Me!

Not Me!

by Nicola Killen
     
 

The house has been turned upside down! There's paint on the walls, tire tracks on the carpet, and peas all over the floor.

But who's been making so much mess?

Can you guess?

Overview

The house has been turned upside down! There's paint on the walls, tire tracks on the carpet, and peas all over the floor.

But who's been making so much mess?

Can you guess?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Killen's call and answer–style debut is a wild ride that follows five untidy toddlers through an increasingly unkempt house. Jake eats cake, Jane plays in the rain, Bertie gets rugs dirty, Paul paints the wall, Louise drops peas--but when asked about it ("Who's been eating all the cake?"), each one declares, "Not me!" The scenes spill over with splatters, spots, stains, and grinning children, and Killen provides visual teasers of the messes to come--puddles, handprints, tire tracks, and spilled peas all roll into the frame before they are spotlighted on later pages. Combined with Killen's simple rhymes and exuberant typography, it's colorful chaos through and through. When the children are faced with the question, "But who's going to clean and tidy up?" one final "Not me!" comes from Jess the Pup, who, admittedly, wouldn't be of much help. With only one wordless page devoted to the essential tidying scene, the emphasis is on the giddiness of mess making (and transparent, mischievous claims of innocence), rather than cleaning up one's messes. Ages 2–up. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews

This appealing import makes a couple of missteps but still merits consideration. Pictured on the front cover, young Bertie's generic "Indian" headdress of painted band and stand-up feathers may smack of cultural insensitivity to some. Adult readers might also object to the fact that, despite their obvious guilt, each child denies culpability for a variety of typical childhood crimes (tracking mud, dropping peas, painting on the walls, etc.). And readers of all ages might wonder under what circumstances five children of roughly the same (preschool) age and varying ethnicities might all share the same house with one utterly adorable spotted dog. Once past these hurdles, however, an infectious, rhyming call-and-response text with the title as a repeated refrain and charmingly childlike pictures in muted colors will likely lead to both audience participation and requests to "Read it again!" Observant young listeners will particularly enjoy Jess the Pup's obvious but unmentioned part in the mischief, while parental concerns about the implausible denials may be soothed by the children's willingness to tidy up after themselves. Playful and satisfying. (Picture book. 3-6)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—On the title page, five children are introduced and largely identified by the clothes they wear and the objects they hold. Jake is into dinosaurs, Paul carries a paintbrush, and so on. Jess the Pup is there, too. The book works as a guessing game. "Who's been dropping all these peas?/Not me! said Louise." Clues will delight young listeners, who can study the illustrations for tell-tale signs, such as a dinosaur left on the scene. Then an offstage voice pipes up: Who is going to clean up the mess? At the end, Jess the Pup shows his face and, with a wink, ties things up. The illustrations and typeface will melt hearts and delight and inspire potato-printing young readers. The simple, expressive shapes, mostly in muted tones with dapples of red to keep things cheery, are utterly fresh and warm, and the textures feel organic. Children will delight in this sweet-natured picture book.—Sarah Paulson Yarovoy, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606841235
Publisher:
EgmontUSA
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Nicola Killen recently completed her graduate studies at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, where she received a MA in Children's Illustration, and was awarded the 2009 New Talent Award. She lives in Cambridge, England.  Not Me! is her first book for young readers. You can visit her online at www.nicolakillen.blogspot.com.

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