Friday, January 20, 2012

17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore


Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter

I was immediately drawn to this book because the cover art looked quite similar to M is for Mischief, which we really loved. Sure enough, Nancy Carpenter is the illustrator for both. Although the books are from two different authors, the content is actually pretty similar. 

The main character here is a little girl, who is remains unnamed - probably to protect her identity given her bad behavior. Gosh, she has some truly terrible ideas! Judging from what she shared here, I'm guessing her mom drinks a lot of wine. There are exactly seventeen things she is not allowed to do anymore - one for each bad idea she brainstorms.

No more glue after she affixed her brother's bunny slippers to the floor. The Swingline was banned after she had the idea to staple his hair to his pillow. She set a kid's shoe on fire using the sun and a magnifying glass, froze a dead fly in the ice cube tray, and washed her hands in dog's bowl before dinner. Yes, all bad ideas, but the illustrations are so terribly funny! The look on the dog's face when he finds her hands immersed in his bowl is alone worth the price of this book.

I love that the main character is a funny, sassy little girl. She has the idea to do her George Washington report on beavers instead, then goes on to tell her classmates that she personally owns one hundred beavers. When she is fed up with being punished, she packs up gear and tries to move out to live with "the kind and happy beavers." She's pretty much banned from mentioning anything beaver related. 

I was a bit surprised by the ending where she apologizes to her mom, but then remarks she is allowed to say the opposite of what she means forevermore. Nevertheless, the book's positives far outweigh the ending. Her poor ideas are funny on their own, but the illustrations raise them to hilarious.  The same team just published 11 Experiments That Failed, which features the same little girl. I have no doubt it is equally fantastic.     

Review copy provided by Random House. 

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