It’s Not Fair!, By Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

It's Not FairIt’s Not Fair!
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
HarperCollins; $16.99
40 pp.; ISBN-13: 978-0061152573

Review by Amy Brozio-Andrews

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s. From her unconventional memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life to her children’s books Little Pea and Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Rosenthal’s got a real knack for getting to the heart of a matter with grace and good humor. And now she is back with another picture book that’s a quintessential expression of childhood, It’s Not Fair!.

Who doesn’t remember thinking "it’s not fair" about a thousand times as a child? Who doesn’t hear it from their own kids a hundred times a day? In this brief survey of kids, animals, even planets, young readers will realize they’re not the only ones who think it isn’t fair. Starting with the everyday occurrences like an unevenly split cookie or the bad timing of catching chicken pox while everyone else is playing outside at a birthday party, Rosenthal’s book expands in scope to include a pig who think’s it’s not fair that birds get the wings, even a planet that thinks it’s not fair Saturn’s got the rings.

Paired with Tom Lichtenheld’s humorous illustrations, the rhyming text is structured with "it’s not fair!" as the common refrain. As the book progresses, it’s almost inevitable that young readers will chime in every time they see one of the characters at the bottom right side of the page, spouting about how unfair it all is. It’s Not Fair! quickly becomes a family affair, highly enjoyable by parents and children alike.

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