Don’t Copy Me!

Jonathan Allen, Author
Jonathan Allen. Boxer (Sterling, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-907967-20-7
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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The hero of Allen’s Baby Owl books has insisted on various occasions that he’s not cute, not scared, and not sleepy. His new avian protagonist, Little Puffin, is no less outspoken, especially when he has three small gulls mimicking his every move. Throwing his weight around doesn’t help (“The Gull chicks weren’t at all scared. They seemed to be having a great time”), and neither does running away (“Small Gull, Tiny Gull and Baby Gull kept up with him easily. And what’s more, they copied the way he ran. How annoying!”). Little Puffin’s dilemma isn’t new, nor is his solution (sitting still until the gulls get bored), but Allen’s story is full of punchy dialogue and humorous details; children should get a particular kick out of Baby Gull, who can’t quite keep up (“G’way... Stop copy me!” is his version of Little Puffin’s “Go away, and stop copying me!”). Allen’s expressive digital illustrations, which render the birds as balls of fluff with eyes that either gleam (the gulls) or glower (the puffin), only add to the fun. Ages 3–6. (Apr.)
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