Smallcomb, Pam. 2011. I'm Not. Illus. by Robert Weinstock. NY: Schwartz & Wade. ISBN: 9780375861154.
"She's not one single big ordinary. And she's a little mysterious." A shy girl says at the beginning of this story. According to her, her best friend and fellow scaly crocodile (or are they little dinosaurs? I'm going with crocs!), Evelyn, can do anything. Evelyn is successful in quirky fashion, can tell amazing stories, is a decorator and artist extraordinaire, and so much more! All the while our nameless narrator says "I'm not.". However, one day she realizes that the things that Evelyn does not have the magic touch for, like spelling, karate and baking, she does has the touch for! The book ends with a perfect match of two friends, especially when they realize that Evelyn needs "A friend who is always by her side. Though thick and thin. A true-blue friend." and our own new crocodile friend yells, "I am! I am! I am!". To match the charming story is Weinstock's adorable illustrations detailing the differences between the two girls. If readers do not like crocodiles, wait till see these images! This is a amazingly great book to share with young readers (and even the adult readers) who are starting to notice the difference between them and others their age (friends and siblings alike!). This book will tell us all it is OK to be different and that opposites can make the best pair of friends (siblings) ever!
- Share the story with the readers then ask if they ever had felt the same the way before about a friend of a sibling.
- Have the children list out what they can do different than their friend, and why it makes them awesome too.
- Have the debate of whether the characters are crocodiles or dinosaurs!
- Have the children share what they would name the story's narrator.