Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's Not Fair! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

“It’s Not Fair!” A phrase so unique it can be statement of perceived fact, an expression of outrage, and a demand for justice. Three simple words that, when put together, have as many meanings as kids who whisper, whine, or scream them.

Or it could just mean your sister got the bigger half of the cookie.

Declarations of faulty fairness start with more recognizable complaints, things like that smaller cookie and not getting your desired pet. “Why can’t I have curly locks?” asks a straight haired girl. “Why can’t I have my own box?” asks a boy standing enviously next to a pony-tailed girl peeking out of her own box. “Why now, chicken pox?” asks the birthday girl as her party continues in the yard, sans birthday girl.

“It’s not fair,” is the only appropriate response to all three situations.

Apparently the phrase is more universal that originally thought. A spider complains that a neighbor gets more flies. A little green alien complains about his red friend having more eyes. Planets complain about all Saturn’s rings. After every rhyming litany of complaints, kids will join with the characters in demanding, “It’s not fair!”

Pay close attention to the end pages. There’s a lawsuit. The plaintiff, Sibling No. 1, seeks judgment against the defendant, Sibling No. 2 for causing “grievous emotional trauma and malnourishment” by deliberately giving a smaller half of the cookie despite a promise to break the cookie equally and distribute said cookie properly.

The best “It’s not fair!” comes at the end of the book, and it’s something I’ve wondered myself: “Why can’t books go on and on? No more endings, only Once Upons…”

“It’s not fair,” whisper the books from their shelf.

I agree.


  1. I would like this to be mandatory reading by all siblings!

  2. Wait a minute. Aren't you an only child?


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