WHAT JAMES SAID by Liz Rosenberg
Kirkus Star

WHAT JAMES SAID

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A young girl can’t help but be angry when she learns her best friend is talking about her behind her back.

As the title suggests, everything hinges on what exactly James said. The pint-sized, artistic narrator heard that James—her best friend—told everyone she thinks she is perfect. But she most certainly does not! She thinks she has big feet and plain hair, and she messes up in math all the time. A misunderstanding is hinted at in the very first pages, where Rosenberg and Myers set up a visual game of “Telephone”: James tells Aiden, who tells Hunter, who tells Katie (and so forth)…. But the girl knows what she heard and retaliates by giving James the silent treatment. All day at school, James tries harder and harder to be her friend, to no avail. Until the art show, when she suddenly realizes that perhaps James said something entirely different. This common childhood struggle is enhanced by the art, which beautifully depicts the girl’s sense of betrayal. With a dripping paintbrush in hand, she throws angry splotches over Myers’ illustrations, adding her own images in wide, watercolor strokes. She and her friend, depicted realistically, are surrounded by taunting stick figures. The little girl is Caucasian with a brown pageboy; the bespectacled little boy is African-American.

Perfectly in tune with the charged emotions involved in navigating friendship and trust. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 9th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59643-908-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015




MORE BY LIZ ROSENBERG

ChildrenTYRANNOSAURUS DAD by Liz Rosenberg
by Liz Rosenberg
ChildrenTHIS IS THE WIND by Liz Rosenberg
by Liz Rosenberg
Children17 by Liz Rosenberg
by Liz Rosenberg

MORE BY MATT MYERS

ChildrenTHE INFAMOUS RATSOS by Kara LaReau
by Kara LaReau
ChildrenPIRATE'S PERFECT PET by Beth Ferry
by Beth Ferry
ChildrenRULES OF THE HOUSE by Mac Barnett
by Mac Barnett
ChildrenCOCK-A-DOODLE-DOO-BOP! by Michael Ian Black
by Michael Ian Black

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenRILEY AND ROSE IN THE PICTURE by Susanna Gretz
by Susanna Gretz
ChildrenTWO OF A KIND by Jacqui Robbins
by Jacqui Robbins
ChildrenHEN HEARS GOSSIP by Megan McDonald
by Megan McDonald