Review Blog

Oct 10 2013

It wasn't me by Belinda Jeffrey

cover image

UQP, 2013. ISBN 9780702249877.
(Age: 4+) Warmly recommended. Humour. Childhood. Picture book. The title is the refrain heard throughout the house as poor old Finnegan is accused of the destruction which occurs. From the oversudsing of the bath, to the graffiti on the fence, Finnegan is called to take the blame. A clever reader will see the monsters hiding in the wallpaper, and react with Finnegan as he takes to the air.
The winning combination of drawings and text will draw in the readers as they search for what is actually causing the mayhem in the house, watching each page for clues as to Finnegan's innocence, scanning all the illustrations for situations where Finnegan takes the blame, with rounded owl-like eyes. But when he is taken up into the air tied to an air balloon, landing in an eagle's nest, the opposite occurs, he is calling for his mum, calling, calling, until he finally lands back home, when a twist reveals just what has happened to Finnegan.
Readers will revel in Finnegan's adventures with his monsters as they do things for which he is blamed, and then take him away. Readers will recognise the nod to the call often heard at home, where a child is blamed for something which has happened and it might not necessarily be him. And they will love reading it out loud, adding stresses to the few words, to add meaning to the sparse prose, as well as being highly entertained by searching the illustrations.
Fran Knight

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