Brilliant! Genius! Clever in the best way possible! I am completely enamored of Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud's new book I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . And, I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . truly is the work of both author and illustrator. The text would still be funny without the illustrations, and the illustrations would still be entertaining without the text, but they would both be lacking. Together, the words and pictures are superb!
When asked by his teacher, "So, why didn't you do your homework?" at the start of I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . our hero (and his really is the hero of the book for calling forth such amazing excuses) replies, "An airplane full of monkeys landed in our yard." He quickly moves on to, "A rebellious robot destroyed out house," and "Elves hid al of my pencils." While I love the robot, I especially love the sassy elves under the table getting silly with the pencils. The fact that our hero is wearing a pinstripe suit, a red tie and socks makes you want to take him seriously while his longish, disheveled hair gives you pause.
Quick on his feet, our hero knows how to respond when, in a singular instance, the teacher questions his excuse.
Chaud is fantastic at packing his illustrations with chaos and excitement, wonderment and mirth. The humor, both visual and textural, will probably appeal best to slightly older readers, but you don't have to be of an age to be assigned (or once have been assigned) homework to enjoy I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . ..
And, while I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . is really a list book (with a really great twist at the end) this list of excuses does not wear thin and is entertaining and engrossing up to the final excuse, after which the boy says to his teacher, "So . . . why don't you believe me?" What is the teacher's excellent response? You'll have to read the book to find out!
Benjamin Chaud is the illustrator of The Bear's Song, which received several starred reviews when it came out last year as well as the fantastic series of books about the little pink elephant Pomelo, written by Ramona Bădescu. Links to my reviews below.
Source: Review Copy