I Didn’t Do It: a poetical picture book that celebrates puppies and the joyfulness of childhood

Patricia MacLachlan, Emily MacLachlan Charest, I Didn’t Do It. Illustrated by Katy Schneider

Published 2010 by Katherine Tegen Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 32p

 

Mother and daughter, Patricia and Emily MacLachlan, together with illustrator Katy Schneider create a second picture book dedicated to puppies (the first was Once I Ate a Pie). More than a collection of heartwarming portraits, I Didn’t Do It is an ode to happiness, innocence and playfulness, an emotional and amusing description of universal childhood.

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Bringing together several breeds of dogs, the authors offer a charming glimpse in their mind; short, free verse poems are written as honest confessions of these adorable animals. Refined psychologists, the authors seem to know everything about the puppies – from their secret wishes to what they like and dislike. A newly born pup wishes a strong name (I want to be called Big Bad Bob), the dog on the next page wants to follow his own rules (Eat all you want/ Sleep when you want/ Run off when you want/ Get muddy/ Be happy) while the dog in One Thing, One Time thinks he is perfect.

The destructive chewing, the run in the mud and the play biting are invoked but they are all translations of a playful and happy attitude, a behavior that cherishes the energy of life.

Katy Schneider’s oil paintings are irresistible; all breeds are easy recognizable but more than that, there is curiosity and love, and kindness in the eyes of the dogs, which Schneider beautifully managed to capture.

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What Did I Do?

What did I do?

You don’t like my present to you?

I went outside and caught it myself –

I went down a hole –

Look!

All furry brown and white

It’s too little to be scary.

Wait! Where are you going?

Come back!

Look.

It is still alive!

It just hopped under your bed.

What did I do?

You don’t like my present to you?

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