The New York Times bestselling author of The Bad Seed and The Good Egg takes a lighthearted approach to how to respond to the all-too-common claim "It's not my fault!"
Emotional literacy is embedded in this funny cautionary tale:
Why is your homework so messy?
It's not my fault! I blame my pen.
Why can't I read these test answers?
I blame my pen.
Why is your assignment so late?
Um...I blame my pen?
A boy steadfastly refuses to take responsibility for any of his mistakes. He just blames everything on his pen, his backpack, his comb, his pillow--whatever happens to be at hand. For a while, this approach works at home and at school. He's positively convinced he has it all figured out until...all the inanimate objects rise up and revolt. What can he do when a talking pen and talking backpack decide to rebel?
The #1 New York Times bestselling picture-book author Jory John encourages kids to accept responsibility while keeping the laughs coming in this fun-filled tale.
John (Giraffe Problems) and Chapman's (Vegetables in Underwear) redheaded protagonist is a pro at passing the buck: it's his pen's fault that his homework is messy and late, and the moon's fault that he's up past his bedtime. But his fall guys are not as inanimate as he assumes (the brightly colored cartooned line drawings show them fuming with each falsehood), and late one night the pen holds an intervention, unleashing a torrent of hard truths and a threat to revoke affection that should make for bravura reading aloud. "Blaming everything but yourself, never taking responsibility for your actions, and pointing a guilty, quaking finger whenever you've done anything wrong is a sham," the pen declares. What's more, "blaming the moon for when you stay up too late makes literally NO SENSE AT ALL." ("YEAH!" an angry moon echoes from the sky.) And it works: the boy announces at school the next day that he accepts responsibility for his actions well, at least partially. There's something to be said for the story's unalloyed righteous indignation, its conviction showing that the blame game is never just fun and games. Ages 3 7.