Book Review: I'm Sorry

Author: Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Jennifer Eachus

Interest Level: Pre School-Kindergarten

About This Book: The author of Guess How Much I Love You (1995) offers a simple, straightforward contemporary story about a falling-out between two best friends that hints at a resolution but cleverly leaves it up to young listeners to decide if they agree. Eachus' gauzy, dappled watercolors and 1940s-style English countryside settings convey an old-fashioned, cozy feeling to the story about a subject that might otherwise have been upsetting to youngsters. The young boy narrator tells of his friendship with a little girl--exploring the farm, teaching dolls to read, being doctors and fixing broken bones. Then there's a sudden argument ("I SHOUTED at my friend today, and she SHOUTED back at me"), and the children avoid each other. The friendship seems irreparable until the little boy imagines what his friend would do if she were as sad as he. Gentle and understated in both text and art, this has a great deal to teach about empathy and forgiveness. The rich paper quality allows for repeated reading.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Children are not born with language; it has to be experienced, learned, and taught. And that applies to the two simple words: I'm Sorry. Many students in my school live in homes where the words 'I'm Sorry' are not spoken. It's often a task left to the school. Saying 'I'm Sorry" is an alternative to bully or violent behavior. Some kids simply just lack the language and that may mean hitting another kid. To start introducing this concept early - get this book on your shelf. It will come in handy!

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