Prather’s Pick: A book about taking responsibility
I know that I’ve been reviewing a lot of children’s books lately, but I can’t help myself. I’ve found some great new books. This week’s picture book is an example. It’s funny, but it also carries an important message. (I’ll get back to a book for adults next week.)
“It’s Not My Fault!” was written by Jory John and illustrated by Jared Chapman. It’s published by Random House, 2020, and is a new book at the Craig Moffat County Library.
The red-haired boy in this story has learned that life is a lot easier when nothing is ever his fault. He blames someone or something else whenever he’s scolded. In fact, he even resorts to blaming the author, illustrator, editor, designer, and publisher for the story in the book. The boy has developed a bad habit.
As the story begins, the teacher asks the red-haired boy why his homework is so messy. The boy says it isn’t his fault. He blames his pen. He says the pen is to blame because his assignment is late, too. “Grrrrrr..!” The pen isn’t happy about being blamed. He makes an angry face.
Next, the boy walks right through the mud, up the sidewalk, and into the house without wiping his shoes. Boy, you have never seen such a mess, and the boy’s father is plenty mad. When his father asks why there’s mud all over the carpet, his son says it isn’t his fault. He blames his shoes. He blames them because there are footprints on the wall and leaves on the floor, too.
“Grrrrrr…!” Now the shoes and pen are angry.
The boy has messy hair, a muddy face, gunk in his teeth, missing homework, and an unmade bed. You guessed it; he isn’t to blame. The comb, soap, toothbrush, backpack, pillows, sheet, and comforter are to blame. Even the moon is to blame because the boy was up so late. The red-haired boy has figured it all out—it’s easy to blame a bunch of other stuff.
The boy feels pretty smug, but he hears a voice and finds his pen standing up at the bottom of the bed. The pen has plenty to say. He says that blaming everything but himself and not taking responsibility for his actions is not the way life works. The pen goes through all of the blaming that the boy has dished out, including the moon. He warns that the boy won’t have any friends if it continues.
So what will the red-haired boy do next?
I really like this book. It can be used to teach one of life’s lessons. You can find the book at the library or purchase the hardcover book for $17.99.
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