Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Sunday, June 26, 2011


TO "I AM"!

When my sister-in-law told me about the book I'M NOT, I thought, "Uh-oh, I hope this isn't an Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day kind of book" (I know a lot of people like Judith Viorst's story, but it was a bit too negative to resonate with me and my children - Alexander's a grouch at the beginning and pretty much still a grouch at the end - we read it once and that was enough).  But on the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised with Pam Smallcomb's positive outcome to a negative sounding title, and it's a story I think young children will ask for again and again!

What I love about this book is the way the shy Narrator (a nameless little brown alligator who constantly compares herself to her talented friend, Evelyn, a little green alligator) begins to finally realize it's okay that she's different from her friend.  Even though there are a lot of things Evelyn is good at that she is not, there are things Evelyn isn't good at that she is!

This book doesn't celebrate being the "best" at everything, it's simply about being the best friend you can be. In the end, Evelyn says she needs a friend  - "A friend who is always by her side, through thick and thin, a true-blue friend."  She wonders, "Is there anyone in the whole wide world like that?" and our little narrator proclaims, "I AM! I AM! I AM!"

Pam Smallcomb's story made me think of two other sets of storybook characters that are good friends,  FROG AND TOAD
Frog and Toad Are Friends:an I Can Read Book (Caldecott Honor Book)
(who are also brown and green!)  and James Marshall's hippos, George and Martha,
George and Martha who bear a striking resemblance to Robert Weinstock's little alligators.

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