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17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore Hardcover – December 26, 2006

93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From stapling her brother's hair to the pillow to freezing a dead fly in the ice cube tray, the impish protagonist of 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore never rests. This unflappable mischief-maker leaves a trail of exasperated family members, teachers, and crossing guards in her wake, but somehow we suspect she will grow up just fine…as a brilliant writer or inventor, no doubt. Told in the first person, the book is simply a series of the girl's "ideas" ("I had an idea to do my George Washington report on beavers instead") and consequences ("I am not allowed to do reports on beavers anymore") One imagines the list growing infinitely longer and more absurd; setting limits on our heroine's activities clearly has no bearing on her future behavior or creativity.

Nancy Carpenter's illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and digital media on crumpled and emery-boarded paper (!) are the perfect foil to Jenny Offill's hilariously dry text. The cool-as-a-cucumber narrator simply reports--the illustrations and our own imagination fill in the blanks. Wonderful. --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3–Ingenious artwork–a flawless marriage of digital imagery and pen-and-ink–is indisputably the focus of this winning title. In it, an incorrigible little girl lists all the bright ideas she's ever had and the various ways they've gotten her into trouble. From stapling her brother's hair to his pillow (no more stapler) to gluing his slippers to the floor (no more glue), her outside-the-box thinking attracts plenty of attention, all of it negative. Carpenter brings depth and texture to each spread by adjusting photo-realistic elements to scale and embedding them into the art. The effect is both striking and subtle–real wood grain, blades of grass, the chrome-plated details on classroom furniture–all are seamlessly integrated around a winsome cast of well-drawn characters. Some picture books are overconceptualized, overdesigned, and generally overdone, but this one is just about picture-perfect.–Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375835962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375835964
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Dwight McCann on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read the reviews before ordering this book and was a bit concerned: reviewers either hated it or loved it. Now I know why. It is a wonderful book if your child has a good connection to reality (that is, they know the difference between fantasy and reality ... they know imaginary friends aren't real) because it is fun. My 5-1/2 year old daughter makes my wife read it to her twice in a row each night. Yes, it does have a page where it mentions showing underwear ... I am sure this horrifies some parents. My kid went by that page and never gave it a thought ... I don't think this book will turn my daughter into a harlot! :-) It is fun. It is interesting. It pushes some boundaries. But I don't worry my daughter will be stapling anyone to a pillow ... I set a good example of appropriate behavior that no book is going to unsettle!

I have come back to add another observation: I believe that censoring everything to which a child is exposed so that only "model" behavior is experienced serves to handicap them. A child must learn to deal with ambiguity, to make right choices, to know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and this is impossible if the world is always presented in perfection. If one is offended by the book ending it should become a huge opportunity to explore the subtleties involved with a child who is likely at the right age to consider such things relevant.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Anne B. Levy on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The girl on the cover is the kind of willful, recidivist imp whose imaginary friends must all be nervous around her. We start with her stapling her brother's hair to the pillow, and it goes downhill from there. She walks backwards to school--stopping traffic--and flashes her panties and, oh dear, just about everything awful. And awfully funny.

Each page repeats, "I had an idea to do X ... I'm not allowed to do X anymore," which gets more brazen and amusing as her calculated terrors add up. The pen-and-ink characters are fully realized, including our mussy-haired protagonist, drawn with a minimalist's attention to each stroke of the pen. They inhabit a digitally remade world of "real" artifacts refitted to the page, even down to their plastic desks or the crossing guard's vest.

This is a brilliantly executed concept, dropping simple figures into a complex environment; even the text was printed out, crumpled and roughed up with an emory board to achieve that faux stressed look that fits the girl's blithely destructive personality.

But will a real kid appreciate all this? Only if she's old enough to pretend not to know better.
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Format: Hardcover
While an argument could be made that this work may not be one of the 10 top best children's books of the year, it never the less would be and should be rank right up there toward the top. Controversy is not new to children's literature nor should it be. In this case though I fear some folks may have gone a bit overboard. First the book and then a short discussion.

This is a series of panels; the first showing a very imaginative and impish little girl performing an act or making a statements which might upset some adults. As an example we have our little twerp gluing her brother's bunny slippers to the floor. We are then told that "I am not allowed to use the glue anymore." We are informed that "I had an idea to do my George Washington report on beavers instead." We are then informed that "I am not allowed to do reports on beavers anymore." "I had an idea to order a different dinner from my mother." "I am not allowed to pretend my mother is a waitress anymore."

There are seventeen of these little scenarios; addressing subjects from misuse of beavers, to walking backward down the hall and to school to throwing cauliflower at her brother to telling her brother that he will be eaten by hyenas. Each item is absolutely hilarious. The illustrations are cute, well executed and appropriate. Adults will find as much humor in this little work as the children who read it.

Now, I have to admit that there was not one instance of our young lass acting out that I did not try myself at that age, including setting a kids sneaker on fire with a magnifying glass. Either I did it or a friend of mine did it. Kids have been doing these things since the beginning of time and they are still doing them.
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Format: Hardcover
The debut children's book of author Jenny Offill, illustrated by award-winning artist Nancy Carpenter, 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore is a humorous picturebook about a mischievous young girl whose bright ideas cause one heap of trouble after another. The rhyming couplets follow how each of her ideas results in a personal ban: "I had an idea to staple my brother's hair to his pillow. / I am not allowed to use the stapler anymore. / I had an idea to order a different dinner from my mother. / I am not allowed to pretend my mother is a waitress anymore." But the precocious young girl gets the last laugh when she figures something out: "I had an idea to say the opposite of what I mean to trick everyone. ('I'm Sorry') / I am allowed to say the opposite of what I mean forevermore." Of especial note is the striking color illustrations that usually incorporate a photographic object, such as a stapler or a glue bottle, into the freehand-style, sketchy main pictures.
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