Was not me! by Shannon Horsfall

cover image

Angus and Robertson, 2016. ISBN 9781460752463
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour. Rhyme. Excuses. Blame. Infectious rhyming lines along with hilarious illustrations will have readers readily beguiled by this insightful story. The narrator's twin is called Not Me, and he is the one to blame whenever something untoward occurs. Not Me is the call every time a mess is made or the bathroom flooded after a game of pirates, or the leaves litter the garden after Not Me swings from the grapevine. Not Me is to blame and the cheeky lad seems to get away with the results of his mayhem, hiding behind Mum's legs and smiling at his brother. Unfortunately no one else can see Not Me. He leaves a trail of debris through the house, crayon on the walls, a messy bathroom, biscuits on the floor, wrecking his bed after using it as a trampoline and finally swinging from the chandelier. It is this adventure that makes him realise just who Not Me really is as he swings past the mirror, and the laughter from the readers will drown out the teacher's voice as he gets to the end of the story.
Young readers will read it over again, noticing that Not Me is hiding on most pages, the reader often only seeing his disappearing leg or head, and taking note of the many messes he leaves behind. The stripe t-shirt stands out on each page and his bespectacled face contrasts with the bemused smile on Not Me's face.
Readers will love comparing Not me's brother's behaviour and excuses with their own, and ponder their impact upon their household, especially their long suffering mother. And I love the layout of each page and the font used.
Fran Knight