Not Me! by Nicola Killen

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Not Me! by Nicola Killen

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A deceptively simple but utterly charming look at a group of scamps getting up to all sorts of trouble. The illustrations are super, and the rhyming structure serves as an excellent introduction to playing with language. Warmly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2010
Publisher: Egmont
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1405248297

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A group of kids are playing, and making an awful mess. One by one they're asked if they're responsible, and one by one they deny any involvement. But have they been caught red handed, and will it really fall upon Jess the pup to do all the tidying up?

Not Me! is a deceptively simple story. It has a very clear format:

"Who's been eating all the cake?"
"Not me!" said Jake.

The rhymes will have the young audience chiming in every time. More importantly, they'll inspire them to play along with their own examples. Try reading it to a group of young kids, and you'll have a great time as they laugh along when you add them to the story. It's a perfect introduction to rhyming and playing with language. It's direct, accessible, but with a huge scope for all that you might want to do with it.

With such a simple plot, you might think it's only suitable for the very youngest book fans. Not true. Nicola Killen's illustrations tell most of the story - Jake, of course, has chocolate smeared all round his mouth, and is sitting in a pile of crumbs. There's trouble on every page as Jake, Jane, Bertie, Paul, Louise and Jess the pup make an awful mess. She's got a fresh and engaging illustration style - each scene is built up from a number of prints. With all that's going on, it's a real joy to pore over.

This is Nicola Killen's first book, and I'm excited to see what she'll do next. The sweet illustrations, eye for adventure and ear for a turn of phrase carry with them plenty of promise. The simple story is ideal for the young audience, and the quality extends the age range. I'd love to see what she produces for slightly older children - that's just me being greedy! It's lovely, gentle, funny, and warmly recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

On My Walk by Kari-Lynn Winters and Christina Leist has a similar atmosphere to it. Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas looks at the interactions between another group of kids. Dear Miss by Amy Husband has a cheeky wink in its eye.

Buy Not Me! by Nicola Killen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Not Me! by Nicola Killen at

Buy Not Me! by Nicola Killen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Not Me! by Nicola Killen at


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