I'm Not Cute!

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
I'm Not Cute! Book Poster Image
Short but cute -- much to a baby owl's chagrin.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this simple picture book has nothing offensive for families.

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What's the story?

Baby Owl is pretty cute, and not the "huge, sleek hunting machine" he says he is. None of the grown-ups in his life will see his side of it and it frustrates him. His mother understands, though, and says just the right thing when she tucks him in.

Is it any good?

This quick-to-read picture book tells the very short story of a, yes, cute baby owl who wishes he wasn't so cute. For kids who labor under the same cute "burden," this book will surely be cathartic. The pictures betray Baby Owl's assertions that he's actually a "huge, sleek hunting machine" since he is obviously a squeezable ball of fluff.

The cartoon-like quality of the pictures and the clean, white background keep the book moving along quickly since there is little to dwell on in each page. (One complaint from a young reviewer: The bunny looks an awful lot like a kangaroo.) The book ends with nurturing Mother Owl finally hearing Baby Owl's frustration and acknowledging his wish to be seen as more ferocious than he appears. For kids who are feeling tense on behalf of Baby Owl, it makes for a nice ending.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Baby Owl is so frustrated. Why aren't the grown-ups listening to him? Perhaps kids can remember a time when they didn't feel heard by grown-ups. Do you ever wish you were big and strong? Do you mind if people say you're cute? What kinds of things can you say to grown-ups who want to hug you or pinch your cheeks when you don't want to be cuddled?

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