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Forgive Me, I Meant to Do it


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About the Author

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State. Matthew Cordell spilled a whole bottle of ink while drawing this book. Forgive him, white carpet is painfully boring. Matthew lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife, writer Julie Halpern, and their daughter, Romy. He is the author and illustrator of Trouble Gum and the illustrator of Toot Toot Zoom!, Mighty Casey, Righty and Lefty, and Toby and the Snowflakes, which was written by his wife.


"A playful primer on insincerity for budding poets. This mischievous collection is sure to engage the devilish side of readers of all ages." -- Kirkus "Readers will enjoy sharing the surprising selections, which will make them rethink what they thought they knew." -- Booklist (starred review) "Levine models more than 40 poems after William Carlos Williams's "This Is Just to Say," taking its quasi-repentant tone to a whole new level. Poetry fans fine-tuning their sense of sarcasm need look no further. " -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Gleeful false-apology poems. Taking as her model William Carlos William's poem about purloined plums, "This Is Just to Say," Ms. Levine has devised verses written from the point of view of any number of unrepentant malefactors. Matthew Cordell's comic drawings leaven the mordant wit." -- Wall Street Journal "Gail Carson Levine's gleefully snarky poems in "Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It" go a long way in turning this high-minded literary form into a joy for youngsters - and their adults." -- Sacramento Bee "The collection overall possesses appealing irreverence and vitality. The open and breezy format adds accessibility, with each spread offering one or two of the terse verses offset by Cordell's humorous art, monochromatic, wittily scrawled images often containing their own exclamations or sound effects." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Praise for A Tale of Two Castles:"A thoroughly delicious romp from the author of Ella Enchanted. The plot is winningly unpredictable, the characters easy to relate to, the humor subtle and the action well-paced. Newbery Honor-winner Levine has once again breathed new life into old stories." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Praise for A Tale of Two Castles:"Readers are certain to be pulled, like Elodie herself, right into the midst of the rich and swirling life of Two Castles." -- School Library Journal Praise for Writing Magic:"Levine encourages readers to take their work seriously while remembering to have fun. An informative and encouraging must-read for young writers." -- School Library Journal (starred review) Praise for Writing Magic:"A veritable treasure trove of advice and guidance for writers across a range of ages." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Praise for Writing Magic:"Writing Magic is a great introduction to writing for children. The "voice" is upbeat and not condescending. It is clearly written, and includes examples when they are needed. As far as I know, there is nothing else like this available." -- Harold Underdown, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books

Gr 4-6-Levine fashions her introduction to the topic after a poem by William Carlos Williams-"This Is Just to Say"-in which he 'fesses up to having eaten some plums from the icebox ("Forgive me/they were delicious/so sweet/and so cold"). The "false apology" poems (Levine's designation) include three four-line stanzas. The first states the offense; the second describes it; the third lays out the false apology (based on what came before). In a note on creating this novel poetic form, Levine advises readers: "Your poems should be mean, or what's the point?" Many of her unrhymed selections relate to fairy-tale or nursery-rhyme characters (Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Jack and Jill), and some have particularly wicked twists: Grandma leaves Red Riding Hood to the wolf; the bear goes over the mountain and dies in a landslide. Others involve intentionally hurtful actions against a sibling-sanding the face off a sister's Barbie doll; stealing a brother's lucky baseball cap just before the state playoff. Black-ink-and-pencil drawings-many of them bizarre images of people, animals, and unearthly beings-accompany the verses. While the collection is supposed to be funny and to appeal to readers' dark sense of justice, it largely comes off as distasteful and even disturbing. Forgive me, there's got to be a better way to engage this audience with poetry.-Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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