Thursday, August 19, 2021

Picture Book Review: Not Yeti by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Claire Keane (2021)

Quick Booktalk

Most monsters are scary, loud and mean, but Not Yeti, who prefers quieter, gentler activities.

About the Illustrations 

The pictures in this book feel very fast-paced and busy, as though they are in constant motion. Quick messy lines portray various physical movements, both of Yeti and his mean monster counterparts. Many pages incorporate speech bubbles which might make reading the book aloud a little bit complicated. Some pages have panels that may also be too difficult to make out at much of a distance.

Story Time Possibilities

Clever title aside, I won't read this book aloud myself because it has a character in it named Itchy Bottom. I think it would have been possible to get across that the other monsters are gross and obnoxious without resorting to cheap bathroom humor. If someone were to read this to an audience, I think lower elementary kids are probably the most likely to enjoy it. I could see it as a potential read-aloud to establish a classroom policy of kindness, for example. 

Readers Advisory

On its face, the point of this book seems to be that peace and love are the answers to everything and opting out of violent and negative behavior is a sign of goodness and strength. Yeti is a bit like Ferdinand, in that he prefers to do his own thing in his own way. There is a part of me, though, that wondered whether there was a secondary message to the book. Yeti is a monster, and yet he chooses to reject everything monsters do and essentially reinvent what a monster is. I didn't like the feeling that I was being led to accept that anyone can be anything they want, and that the identity we're born with can be rejected at will. I admit that I may be reading way more into this than is there, but it was a weird creeping feeling that made the book not sit quite right with me. 


I received a finished review copy of Not Yeti from Viking in exchange for an honest review. 

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