Sunday, January 19, 2014

It Wasn't My Fault by Helen Lester -- OPTIONAL

Lester, Helen It Wasn't My Fault, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. PICTURE BOOK. HMH Books, 2013. (Original printing: 1985.) $8.99. Content: G.

Everything Murdley Gurdson does comes out wrong, but of course it's never actually his fault -- or so he insists. But when he loses a shoe and sets off a chain of events that culminates in a giant bird dropping an egg on his head, Murdley learns an important lesson about claiming responsibility. (Well...sort of, since the last scene in the book is him swearing that something isn't his fault.)

While the story's focus seems to be on taking responsibility for one's mistakes, the point isn't totally clear since Murdley is still shifting blame at the end. That makes it difficult to endorse this book for a lesson on taking responsibility, though it could work for discussions on sequencing or cause and effect. There's a scene at the end with the bird cheerfully scrambling her own egg with her feet so Murdley can eat it for a snack. It's a bit unintentionally creepy, although some students may not notice. Contains a link to a free download of the audio version, which is a nice accompaniment.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) -- OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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