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I'm Not    by Pam Smallcomb & Robert Weinstock order for
I'm Not
by Pam Smallcomb
Order:  USA  Can
Schwartz & Wade, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This is a book that celebrates differences between friends and the ability to recognize one's own worth.

Two crocodiles (alligators? dragons?) are friends; one is much more colorful than the other. From the perspective of the narrator, Evelyn is the adventurous one, the goofy one, the outgoing one. Evelyn is a free spirit and does many things that her friend either does not do or thinks she cannot do.

'Evelyn is up on all the latest fashion trends.
I'm not.


'When Evelyn comes over, she changes my room.
My scales.
And my pet worm.
She's a wonderful decorator.
I'm not.

But the tables turn when later in the book, the unnamed narrator realizes that she, too, has skills that Evelyn does not have, such as spelling, cookie-baking, and NOT being afraid of the dark.

What the two have in common, though, is that they are especially skilled at being true-blue friends, and the narrator comes to the welcome realization that each person in a friendship has something to give.

The book's simplicity belies its deeper message of self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. The illustrations are zany but do not overwhelm the text. A recommended book for younger children.

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