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 Im 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
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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