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Review of The Hueys in…It Wasn’t Me by Oliver Jeffers

The Hueys in It Wasn't Me
The Hueys are back! Oliver Jeffers’ egg-shaped creatures may look the same, think the same, and even do the same things, but that doesn’t mean they always agree. The only problem is, they can’t seem to agree on what they disagreed on in the first place! Which ultimately leads to an even bigger disagreement! Confused? Well, so are the Hueys. Which only adds to the fun and hilarity.
(From Goodreads.com.)

             

Release date: May 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 32
Source: Library book

I picked this book up because the simplistic cover art appealed to me, and “it wasn’t me” is a phrase that resonates with me as the parent of a wily 6-year-old. It’s a very quick read about a group of stick-figure friends/brothers (?) called the Hueys having an argument. Gillespie comes along and wants to know what the argument is about, but nobody remembers. They continue arguing until Gillespie suggests a new activity, and they all go off together, argument forgotten.

The takeaway from this book, I think, is that arguments are silly. Little S and I read The Hueys in…It Wasn’t Me at bedtime and I had to really lead the way to that conclusion, though. Her biggest takeaway was: “Dead flies are gross and so are boys.” While actually kind of delightful for adults, I’m afraid it may be too subtle for children.

What’s unique about this book: speech bubbles that sometimes have images in them. I think this is great on two levels: having drawings instead of speech makes it easy for a younger child to follow along and “read” what the characters are saying all on his/her own, and dialogue written alongside with the story text can feel a little disconnected even for an older child who is already reading. It Wasn’t Me is a book about talking, so I thought it was very cute and visually appealing to children to have the dialogue in speech bubbles.

Another unique feature is the illustration style, which is very simplistic. The Hueys exist in white pages, so they are the complete focus. The Hueys themselves aren’t realistic people at all, but egg-shaped stick figures that really resemble children’s early drawings of people. The illustrations in the speech bubbles are very cute and watercolor-y. Overall, I liked the illustrations, but Little S didn’t seem all that interested in them, or the story. I think part of this was because the font for the speech bubbles is curly and cursive and pretty hard for an early reader to decipher. The other part: I feel that this book would appeal a little more to boy readers. The illustrations, the fonts, and the way the Hueys talk and what they talk about all lean towards the boyish. However, as I don’t have any boys, I can’t test this.

Our rating?

Two out of Five Stars