This Parenting Magazine Best Book of the Year and Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year features a kid full of fun ideas. For example, in the morning, gluing her brother's bunny slippers to the floor sounds like a good plan. But now she's not allowed to use glue anymore. And what about when she shows Joey Whipple her underpants—they're only underpants, right? Turns out she's not allowed to do that again, either. And isn't broccoli the perfect gift for any brother? It's just too bad her parents don't think so. But she has the last laugh in this humerous picture book about not-so-great behavior. And don't miss the companion book to 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore: 11 Experiments that Failed, a zany exploration of the scientific method by everyone's favorite troublemaking protagonist.
The title is terrifically cheeky, and Carpenter (Fannie in the Kitchen) outdoes herself in these mixed-media illustrations. The unnamed heroine, who resembles a cross between Ramona Quimby and Eloise, generates the title list as a result of her free-spirited, rule-breaking notions. "I had an idea to staple my brother's hair to his pillow," accompanies a photo-collage image of a stapler clamping onto a pillow corner, with a pen-and-ink drawing of the brother's sleeping face. Opposite, the boy, bound into his pillowcase, clings to his mother: "I am not allowed to use the stapler anymore." Offill (Last Things, for adults), making her children's book debut, follows with a litany of forbidden behavior encompassing everything from not being allowed to make ice cubes ("I had an idea to freeze a dead fly in the ice cube tray") to not being allowed "to talk (even a little bit) about beavers anymore" (because she "had an idea that might run away to live with the kind and happy beavers"). Carpenter uses a fluid, elegant ink line to convey an impressive repertoire of expressions she's equally adept at portraying a playground tattletale and a mom at the end of her rope. Kids will be intrigued by the pictures' playful sense of composition as well as the heroine's brazenness, but may be caught off-guard by the abrupt conclusion. Ages 4-8.