Monday, January 16, 2017

Review - What James Said

What James Said
by Liz Rosenberg
illustrated by Matthew Myers
Date: 2015
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

A funny, heartfelt, perfectly pitched story about misunderstandings and the importance of true friendship.

When a little girl thinks that her best friend James has been saying bad things about her behind her back, she takes action in the form of the silent treatment. As they go about their day and James tries harder and harder to get her to talk to him, they both realize that true friendship surpasses any rumor... or misunderstanding.

A classic childhood situation is brought to life with humor and poignancy with energetic illustrations by Matt Myers and a simple, telling text by Liz Rosenberg.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This little picture book is worth reading for the adorable illustrations alone. The intent behind the message is good, although I wish it had been spelled out a little more; I'm not sure if little kids who'd be reading this book on their own would understand the resolution without a bit of explanation from an adult.

It's all about a misunderstanding, like a game of "telephone". The little girl--our narrator--thinks that her best friend has said something bad about her. James's attempts to get back in her good graces are sweet, although the poor kid must've been so confused by his best friend's sudden shunning of him.

I loved the illustrations. The kids are so cute, with the best facial expressions. Pictures can either make or break a picture book, but they were pretty much perfect here.

Quotable moment:

I'm not sure he knows we are in a fight.

I sat with my girlfriends at lunch and glared at him across the cafeteria.

He came over and asked, "Do you have a stomachache? Do you want me to walk you to the nurse?"

"No, thank you," I said, and went and threw my lunch into the trash. I wasn't very hungry, then.

Recommended to: anyone who enjoys sweet illustrations and simple stories about little kids being kids

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.17 out of 5

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