I Don't Care

Two galoshes-wearing playmates rhapsodize in harmony about their friendship in the enchanting, energetic picture book I Don't Care, written by Julie Fogliano (When Green Becomes Tomatoes). Caldecott Medal Honorees and real-life best friends Molly Idle (Pearl) and Juana Martinez-Neal (Zonia's Rain Forest) provide the illustrations of the adorable child characters, whom they based on their younger selves.

The girls begin facing away from each other with folded arms and unimpressed facial expressions. "[I] really don't care what you think of my hair/ or my eyes or my toes or my nose," Fogliano's verse announces bluntly. The "i don't care" list continues as the girls express their disinterest in each other's opinions, but they also begin to cast each other curious, sidelong glances. When they finally give each other shy smiles, Fogliano shifts the conversation to a friendlier tone. The text's rhythm speeds up until the characters join hands and whirl into a laughing spin. "[I] really do care/ that you always play fair/ and don't change the rules/ when i'm winning," the narrator says, launching into a list of the reasons they appreciate each other that ends in a heart-tugging "i really do care a lot."

Idle and Martinez-Neal each took responsibility for drawing one of the children. Amorphous splotches of translucent color--teal for Idle's character, yellow for Martinez-Neal's--begin as small patches that grow, overlap, then blend as the girls thaw toward each other. Fogliano's verse has the bounce and joie de vivre of a game of hopscotch, making it a joy to read aloud in a group or one-on-one setting. This ode to the bestie bond perfectly captures the essential foundations of friendship in any stage of life. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth experience manager, Dayton Metro Library

Powered by: Xtenit