She’s been banned from the glue and stapler, and at home she is definitely not to talk about beavers ever again. The young protagonist in this book just cannot bring her brilliant ideas to fruition! All her ideas are halted before completion. Walking to school backwards seems innocent enough, but it’s not, according to the crossing guard. Her teacher doesn’t even see eye to eye with her concerning her beaver ideas for class. Delving early into the world of fortune telling, gymnastics and cooking, this mischievous girl just has no luck convincing others her ideas are fun. Her propensity for thinking up new ideas cannot be stanched, though. It’s on the last page where she thinks of an idea she’ll be allowed to do “forevermore”. And, with a mind all her own, this non-conformist will be hard to stop.
This is a lighthearted story useful to have when discussing behavior and conduct with children. They’ll learn to think about the consequences of their ideas before they act on them. The importance of good table manners could be introduced after reading the cauliflower page;
the young girl in this book learns she’s not to give “the gift of cauliflower” to her brother by flinging it across the table.
The illustrations are displayed over unique backgrounds
- wrapping paper, fabrics, even green rug are used at different times in the story as a backdrop.
With its many close-ups, the illustrations captures a few silly instances children have likely contemplated at one time or another. Nancy Carpenter uses pen, ink and digital media to illustrate 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore,
and her work has a sketched-out appearance filled with lots
of color. Photo images can be found among the drawings on almost every page as well;
the photo insertion I like best is the uniquely altered report card.
This is Jenny Offill’s first children’s book, but she has co-edited the adult book
The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women’s True-Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out, or Faded Away. Nancy Carpenter has illustrated numerous children’s books including Sitti's Secrets and Loud Emily.