It Wasn’t Me is a story that starts with great potential to teach a lesson: everyone takes claim for the beautiful painting that was done on a wall and when they learn who really did it, and notice the praise he gets, they get jealous and ruin it. This is where it falls apart and makes me wish there was a negative rating system. Instead of taking credit for their vandalism, they blame the kid/character that did the painting originally but did not do the damage.
Instead of teaching a valuable lesson about not being jealous, learning from mistakes and learning to be happy for friends/others, Daniel Fehr ends his book on the all too realistic note/issue of, “When it is great everyone takes credit for your work, but when it is horrible, you are left to take the blame on your own. Especially if you are not guilty.”
There is nothing redeeming about the text of the story. The publisher description makes it sound like there will be a redemption by telling the truth. Pauline Reeves does have some good pieces of art for the illustrations, but they get lost with the poor text. Even the bright colors and simplicity that could have been cozy and fun are unable to save the book for this reader.
With all that said, I do appreciate the hard work that both author and illustrator put into this book. I know that the right audience is out there, but I am not it.