I Didn't Do My Homework Because...
Davide Cali, illus. by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle, $12.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-4521-2
Chaud's crabbed pen-and-ink drawings give a distinctly Gothic sensibility to Cali's (The Bear with the Sword) sly collection of homework excuses. The narrator, a boy dressed in a suit and tie, negotiates with his teacher. "An airplane full of monkeys landed in our yard," he tries. Chaud (The Bear's Song) draws an army of monkeys invading the boy's study, swinging from the light, mussing his hair, and scattering his papers. "Elves hid all of my pencils," he offers. Things look good at first%E2%80%94the boy is in his place at his desk, his book open in front of him%E2%80%94but closer inspection reveals two giddy elves underneath the desk with pencils sticking out of their ears and noses. "Giant lizards invaded my neighborhood," the boys says, as a huge alligator holds a school bus in its jaws, and a lizard nabs the boy's homework with its sticky tongue. The other 20 or so excuses and their illustrations are equally entertaining. Even children who don't yet have homework will long to try out a few of these wild explanations for themselves. Ages 6%E2%80%939. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/23/2013