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I'm Not Cute! - Jonathan Allen

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Jonathan Allen / Edition: New edition / Paperback / 32 Pages / Book is published 2006-03-01 by Boxer Books

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    15 Reviews
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      02.02.2014 14:51
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      we really enjoy this

      I really enjoy reading to Millie and sharing that quality time together. We visit the library regularly to choose new books and when I took Millie to the library last week she had a good look at all of the books before choosing this one. I think she chose it because the picture on the front is very cute. Since we have had this out of the library we have had to read this every day (sometimes more than once) and she really likes it and I have to admit so do I as it is a very cute book.

      I think reading with a child is so important so they can learn all about words and the world around them as well as using their imaginations too but my favourite thing about reading with Millie is having some peaceful, quiet time together where we can both sit together and share a story after a day of running around. I think it's a lovely bonding time and this book has a nice story in it which ends nicely with a mummy and baby.

      ===What is the book about?===

      This book is about a baby owl who looks very cute in the pictures but he really doesn't like his friends telling him that he is cute! The story begins with baby owl exploring the woods as he doesn't want anyone to bother him. But then he comes across Rabbit who picks him up and cuddles him telling him how cute and small he is. Baby owl then looks very cross and declares he is NOT cute and not small. He declares he is a huge and scary hunting machine. Then Fox comes along and pats him on the head saying how cute and fluffy he is. Baby Owl does not look happy at all and tells Fox that he is NOT cute and not fluffy and is a big hunting machine with see-in-the-dark eyes. When he sees Squirrel she also tells him he's cute with big baby eyes. Again this makes Baby Owl upset and he really shouts that he is NOT cute and doesn't have big baby eyes! When his Mummy comes along she says that of course he isn't cute and reassures him that he is a huge, scary sleek, sharp-eyed hunting machine. This makes baby Owl stop and think and then begins to cry that he is cute and his Mummy picks him up and puts him to bed. As he nods off to sleep she whispers that he is cute and wishes him goodnight.

      ===Why I like the story===

      I like his story because it reminds me of a typical child who wants to be bigger and bolder than they are. Millie doesn't like it if I refer to her as little but then when I try to encourage her to be a big girl she gets all baby-like which is exactly what Baby Owl does in this book and it comes across really well. I also like the way the story concludes with the owl going to bed and saying goodnight because we like to read a story at bed time and I always find it easier to get Millie to unwind if a story concludes with the character going to sleep! In this book the owl does give little facts about what owls do such as it having see in the dark eyes and wings that are silent and so forth. This may just seem like part of the story but in reality it is teaching children about the traits of owls so they are able to learn a little whilst enjoying the story.

      ===Pages===

      The pages of this book are nice and big. It is about A4 size and the illustrations are nice and bright with colours being quite true to life with the owls being brown, the fox red and so forth no dramatic psychedelic colours here. It looks like they're painted in water colour and the animals all have nice faces with lots of expressions. They really are well painted, it's lovely to be able to read their expressions and sit with Millie discussing what the animals must be thinking. The writing is all in black and this varies in size depending upon the words, the words that are emphasised are big and bold, some in capitals. On one page the writing is in a very large font so you can really tell how loudly the little owl must be talking! Wherever there is writing there is no background picture so usually the picture is at the bottom and then fades away and the writing is at the top. This makes it clear for children to be able to see and read. It is well laid out.

      ===What we like about reading this===

      When we read this Millie is able to try to read along. The layout of the pages make it possible for her to be able to read the words clearly especially when they are the large ones! At the moment Millie is very interested in punctuation and keeps pointing out the speech marks and exclamation marks so we have spoken about them together and what it means. The words within this story are quite short so Millie is able to sound them out and she can almost read the whole book by herself the only word she really struggles with is 'machine' but this book is helping her to learn that. When we read this together we now know it so well that Millie likes to read the Baby Owl's words and really over emphasises the dramatic outbursts! It's nice that it's only a short story too as it gives us more time to talk about the pictures and what the owl must be thinking whereas when we read longer books we tend to just keep going with the story and don't have the time to stop to talk about it.

      ===Summary===

      We have had this book out of the library for a week now and Millie doesn't want to take it back so I think we'll end up buying this for her birthday. I can really see why she likes it so much as it's a really fun book to read with lots of ability to emphasise words and really play the drama of the owl being frustrated. This book is good for children because it does have a few facts about owls although it is only subtle and I find that being subtle is the best way at the moment to teach Millie anything otherwise she seems to get frustrated that I'm trying to help her so just goes quiet so subtle facts like within this book is the way forward for us at the moment! The colours are all true to life too but that doesn't make it dull as there are lots of flowers and big yellow beaks that brighten up the brown of the owls.

      I think that the best thing about this book is the fact that the writing is so easy to follow. Millie is at a stage now where she is eager to read on her own and really wants to be independent with her reading but so many of the books we have has writing which is small or too many words in a row so it's intimidating for her and she can easily lose her place. The words within this book are spaced out well and are very clear. It is lovely to sit and listen to her reading to herself. We do of course enjoy reading this together too though because it is so lovely and we always have a laugh about how loudly Owl talks.

      There is no complicated story in this so it's easy for a tired mind to follow without being confused or having to really concentrate hard so it is a perfect bedtime read especially as it concludes with the owl going to sleep.

      ===Book facts===

      This book that we have is in paperback format and is about 25 pages long I think it is also available in board format which I think would be lovely for a baby to have. Millie is fine with paperback but if you are reading this to a toddler then be careful as paperback books are easy to rip so board book format may be better. It's retail price is £5.99 although it is available at the moment on Amazon for £5. I do think it's worth £5 as it's a lovely story with very nice illustrations that really do add to the story.

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        24.04.2013 11:49
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        Just too cute for words!

        "I'm not cute!" by Jonathan Allen is one of my daughter's favourite books to read at the moment. At two and a half we are now entering the exciting phase of development where she can actually follow a story when we sit and read together rather than just looking a the pictures.

        Cover and description
        The cover of the book is of baby owl looking a bit cross and wide eyed. The illustration is simple yet effective. The actual book is made of thick cardboard that will withstand some playing with.

        A bit about
        I'm not Cute is a story about an owl whom everyone thinks is cute, much to the young owl's annoyance. He goes for a walk and meets the rabbit who stops to give him a hug, the fox, squirrel who all stop to give him a nice pat on the head and comment on how cute he is. Owl thinks he is a big huge hunting machine with see in the dark eyes. He gets crosser and crosser as the day goes on and then he bumps in to his mummy and tells her how it's not fair... so his mummy confirms he is a huge scary hunting machine and not cute at all. Baby owl thinks about this for a while then howls because he wants to be cute (aw how cute). He's spent all day working his temper so is tired out now and ready for bed.

        In use
        My daughter loves the story and particularly enjoys the page with the squirrel who hangs upside down from a tree and at this point we have to turn the book around to enjoy it from every angle. For me, the illustrations are fabulous and the baby owl really is a cutie. On the back page he is tucked up in bed with his own soft toy owl which is just Too Cute!

        Price
        I picked our book up second hand for a nominal amount but the suggested price is £4.99. I note this is a previous Bookstart book so there will be a lot of copies available out there.

        Final word
        I really like this book and it's one we never tire of. It makes ideal before bedtime reading as well as the owl ends up going to bed so it may help with any issues of settling little ones to bed as well. The book is a nice story and helped greatly by the lovely illustrations

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        20.01.2013 12:19
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        A gorgeous basic story for pre-schoolers

        Hollie has had the board edition of I'm Not Cute since she was a baby and now at five still loves me to read it to her - even though she knows it off by heart herself now and in any case can read it to herself! Her smaller brother, at two, is in absolute awe of the sweet central character and although his speech isn't brilliant yet he always shouts 'twit twoo' when he spots the baby owl on each page!

        It's a story about a baby owl, he goes for a walk through the forest but all his grown up animal friends think he's cute. The problem is he doesn't want to be cute, be wants to be a hunting machine with big scary eyes. His mum makes it worse at the end of the story by telling him he's right, he's not cute at all - this is when baby owl decides he wants to be cute after all and has a screaming paddy because his mum doesn't think he is!

        It's such a sweet story, comical on a level that even very young children get the joke - there's no moral or real storyline to it, but I wouldn't expect there to be in a baby book like this. It's just a fun book with an excellent central character and fabulous illustrations - the actual recommended age for I'm Not Cute is 4 - 8 years, which is crazy! Hollie loved it from twelve months and now she's in the process of learning to read has come back to it, along with many other baby books. An eight year old wouldn't want to read this unless they were reading to a younger child, I think Hollie will probably grow out of it at some point soon simply because she knows the story inside out now. God knows why, given the recommended age, this is a board book with extremely thick pages?!

        It's cleverly done actually and through the story there are little humorous touches; my favourite being when baby owl tries arguing with his mum and she kills it with the old 'that's it, you're tired' before putting him to bed. That's something Hollie might not 'get' (as she's usually the one on the receiving end of my 'bedtime' remarks) but as the adult reader it always makes me smile.

        The illustrations are brilliant; they're not hugely detailed but bright and colourful with the animals all drawn to look cheerfully sweet. Obviously it's baby owl who takes centre stage in each picture, and that's just as it should be as it helps the child to recognise him as the central character. The large basic pictures also help when it comes to doing your best rabbit or squirrel impression, it's clear from the way they've been drawn that they adore baby owl so you can get away with any lovey-dovey voice which contrasts well with the 'tantrum' voice you need for the owl. Which sounds daft, but when reading to babies and toddlers you definitely need to know how to 'do the voice'!

        I think this is a cracker of a book, engaging for any young child and a definite kiddie classic. It's one of those books which is a pleasure to read even after the hundredth time, it can be rushed through as a quick read before nursery or take your time to explore the illustrations (and silliness of baby owl!) if you have longer to spend reading to your child. Hollie has shelves of books so it's quite surprising that this pretty basic story has been a favourite for so long, she actually got rid of most of her board books about six months ago but there was never any question of I'm Not Cute going into the charity bag - which just shows how much she loves it as by then she'd decided that board books were for babies!

        Amazon don't seem to have the board book edition, but you can buy the paperback for £5.79 with free delivery. I highly recommend it, although a paperback would obviously not be as durable if young children get hold of the book.

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          04.01.2012 10:41
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          A FANTASTIC BOOK WITH EXCELLENT ILLUSTRATIONS ABOUT A SMALL OWL THAT ALL HIS FRIENDS CALL CUTE !

          We recently were given this book when my son had his two year check up by the health visitor and inside his little bag was this book I'm not CUTE! By Jonathan Allen. I was thinking about getting my son some new story books for bedtime, because I think this is a lovely time and you get to share a special moment together. Therefore I thought I would start by reading this book and up to now I must have read it about 20 times as my son always asks for the owl.

          I'm not CUTE! is about a baby owl who explores the woods and he thought that no one would bother him. However along the way he meets three animals a rabbit, squirrel and a fox who intern tell me how cute he is much to his annoyance. The owl would prefer to be known as a huge, scary, sleek, sharp eyed hunting machine. Eventually he comes back to his mum who says he is not cute but a huge,scary,sleek,sharp eyed hunting machine I won't give the ending away as that's not fair but all ends well.
          This book as well as having the cutest owl in it is also backed up with fantastic illustrations also by Jonathan Allen. The story is set out with short repetitive sentences in bold text for easy reading and to show the illustrations off. The only disadvantage would be that the pages are easy to tear so i keep my copy out of the reach of tiny hands.

          This book is perfect for bed time due to the ending and one of the simplest but entertaining stories that your child will want you to read again and again.
          The ISBN is 0-9547373-8-5 and is available at £5.24 from amazon. The author also has a book called I'M NOT SCARED which is also at the same price and can be purchased from amazon.

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          04.08.2011 22:54
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          lovely story involving lots of different voices

          My daughter recieved this from the library in her 18 months + bookstart pack. You can buy it RRP £5.99 which I think is a bit excessive.

          I'm not cute is a short childrens story written by Jonathan Allen.You can buy its as a chunky board book, but ours is a softback which is very dangerous with a 19 month old. She likes to pull the pages out, so I have not let her touch this one. Strangly with other books I have held up for her to look at the book felt wierd but this one is the perfect size and bendyness to hold up and read to a child.

          Most books she has have intricate colourful pictures that attract her.She like to feel and touch them and look very closely. The illustrations in this book aren't so interesting. They are nice and very sweet but crudley drawn maybe in felt tip with thick black outlines. They do not attract her to look at it but she loves the story.

          The story is simple and repetitive which babies love.The text is very large so perfect for children who are learning to read.
          The story is about a small baby owl who thinks he is so grown up and goes for a walk by himself in the woods.On the way he meets lots of different animals who talk to him, hug him and tell himm how cute he is. Baby owl is not very impressed.
          In the end mummy owl finds him and takes him home to sleep.

          What is good about this book is there are many opertunities for interaction. Most of the text is the animals talking.
          So this is perfect to do all kinds of voices. Mine are mainly the same but with different accents. Secondly every animal baby owl meets they give him a great big hug.This is your opertunity to give your child a great big hug too. This makes up for the below average illustrations.

          This isn't my daughters favourite book as she like hers to be chunky and feely.But it is mine as it is very
          fun too read aloud, and when shes older and has more paitience to listen i'm sure she will enjoy it more too.

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          03.07.2011 21:18
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          A lovely story

          We picked this book up on a recent trip to the library, my daughter was drawn to the cute bird on the frontcover which proves the title of the book to be wrong. The book is approx A4 sized and of portrait presentation, it is written and illustarted by Jonathan Allen which is a childrens writer that I have never heard of. The book is published by boxer books and this was first published in 2005 with the paperback version being released in 2006. The RRP of the book is £5.99 and i have found it on Amazon for £5.29 so not much of a reduction really.

          The front cover shows the title written in red with an explanation mark after the word cute to really stress the title, the authors name is written in smaller text at the bottom of the cover and then there is a picture of a cute little owl with what I think is supposed to be an angry face although to be honest I think he looks like he's constipated.

          The story follows a baby owl who wants to be big and brave and strong but most certainly not cute, he decides to explore the woods and comes across a rabbit, a fox and a squirrel that just want to pick him up and cuddle him as he is so cute. The rabbit calls him and cute and small to which the owls response is that he is huge ad scary hunting machine, the fox says he's cute and fluffy to which the owl says he is not fluffy but has big see in the dark eyes, the squirrel says the owl is cute with his big baby eyes to which the owl shouts he is not cute with baby eyes. Owls mother comes to find him and the baby owl complains to her about what the animals have been saying about him, his mother agrees with him that he is not cute but a huge, scary, sleek sharp eyed hunting machine to which baby owl thought and suddenly realises he is cute afterall. Mother owl decides that owl is tired and puts him to bed where he falls asleep before she has managed to read him his story and then his mother whispers in his ear that he is indeed cute.

          The story in this book is very simple and has lovely pictures, the pictures are big bold and very simple, when the owl is saying he has big see in the dark eyes the page is coloured brown with just his eyes showing which was a nice touch. My daughter loved this book and we have now read it numerous times, i did think that it was a little abrupt that the mother owl suddenly decided the baby owl was tired and had to go to bed but I think it was as the baby was getting so upset although i'm not sure a child would have got this point. A lovely read and something nice for your child to drift off listening to.

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            27.12.2009 19:58
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            A Wicked Book For Any Young Reader

            This is such a funny book that it's been my 2 1/2 year old sisters fave book for ages, she loves the pictures of baby owl and laughs like mad when I read the story to her.

            The book is about Baby Owl who is having a walk through the woods, on every page he meets a new animal who tells him how cute he is. The problem is that Baby Owl doesn't think he's cute, in his mind he's a sleek killing machine with great big scary eyes!!!

            The main thing about this book I think is that it relies on the reading child to have a sense of humour, obviously my sister is too young yet to understand the joke but she still giggles along to the story especially when we put on the voice of a disgruntled baby owl! lol

            The main twist to the story is when Mummy Owl comes on the scene to give Baby Owl a big hug, of course Baby Owl doesn't like that at all and starts telling his mum that he isn't cute. Then he's even MORE annoyed when Mummy Owl agrees with him..... and then he WANTS to be cute!

            It's very funny and mad as it sounds I can see my sister in Baby Owl, she always wants to be so independant but when our mum walks in the house she immediately goes back to being a baby so she can be cuddled and cooed over.

            This is a board book and is well made, the only marks on my sisters copy were deliberate when she was colouring and took advantage of no adults being in the room and coloured all over loads of her books. Apart from this it's been thrown, had milk dropped all over it and even got left in the back garden for a week in the summer before we noticed. There's no problems with the pages or covers of the book and it's still in brill condition.

            I like how the words are printed in I'm Not Cute, they're in a font that is easy to read and even though my sister isn't reading yet it's deffo very visible and easy to work out. She knows her letters and can follow the lines of letters no problem so older kids who can read will have no trouble reading the words, some of them are quite difficult words though so don't expect them to learn it all at once! lol

            I've just had a look on Amazon and you can buy a board copy of I'm Not Cute for under £4.00, and for older readers there is a paperback version available for a few pence more.

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              28.10.2009 22:16
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              I am a huge, sleek, hunting machine with great big see-in-the-dark eyes!

              I'm Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen is a much adored book in my 22 month old son's vast and ever-growing collection. This book is an A4 sized paperback, also available as a board book, which retails at £5.99, however it is available from Amazon at a temporarily reduced price of just £4.38.

              The story is a simple and endearing one. We follow a baby owl who decides to explore his woodland surroundings for the very first time.

              Baby Owl ventures out with the somewhat misguided opinion that no-one will bother him. He is after all a "Huge and scary hunting machine with great big soft and silent wings" and a "Huge sleek hunting machine with great big see-in-the-dark eyes".

              As baby owl meets his woodland companions one by one however, he soon realises that their opinion is a rather different one to his. Much to his dismay he is called "Cute", "Small" and "Fluffy", with "Big baby eyes".

              The illustrations in this book, also by Jonathan Allen, are rather simple and childlike. They are not particularly striking or appealing and do not stand out too well against the white pages. I do personally feel that baby owl could have been illustrated a little more as he is depicted in the story, as I do not find this character cute in appearance.

              Another slight qualm of mine is the lack of literacy accuracy throughout the book. This is particularly evident hereby a number of adjectives have been used in succession with no commas between them. See my earlier quotes as an example. Contrary to this, further on in the book, similar phrases have been repeated with the correct punctuation where it should have been.

              Despite this, the storyline is a rather charming one and one that young children may be able to relate to as they grow and become increasingly aware of themselves.

              My little boy very much enjoys this book and I do enjoy reading it to him. One repetition throughout the story is that each woodland creature gives baby owl a big hug. When we reach these parts of the book, I give my son a big hug too and he now recognises when those parts are approaching in the storyline.

              The book does have its drawbacks as aforementioned and it does not stand up to the qualities of some other books in my little boys collection. Nonetheless it is one that he very much enjoys time and time again.

              ISBN-10: 0954737385
              ISBN-13: 978-0954737382

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                17.10.2009 22:35
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                Excellent as a bedtime story for toddlers and a reading tool for pre-schoolers.

                I found this to be a lovely little board book with colourful illustrations, thoroughly enjoyed by my kids aged between two and six. Children can relate directly to the central character of Baby Owl through the range of emotions he displays in the story and to the security of the parental relationship, which provides further reassuring familiarity. By playing both with the concepts of self perception as opposed to the perception of others and combining this with the message that frustration is natural, the story makes for both an enjoyable and educational experience for the child and reader. Additionally, it works well for a young reader, both in terms of vocabulary, with a nice combination of simple and more complex words, but particularly in the use of punctuation, for example frequent speech and use of the apostrophe. A highly recommended book which would certainly endear me to future publications by the same author.

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                02.09.2009 00:03
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                A wonderful woodland adventure!

                Im not cute by Jonathan Allen was a free gift in the bookstart pack that children get about 3 years old.
                It can also be purchased at a RRP of £5.99 (ISBN 0-9547373-8-5)(BOXER BOOKS PUBLISHERS).

                The story follows the adventures of baby owl through the woods where he encounters other woodland creatures who just cant help but find him so cute!

                Rabbit thinks owl is so small, fox thinks he is so fluffy,squirrel thinks he has such big baby eyes and they all cant resist hugging him!

                Only one problem.... baby owl thinks he is huge and scary, sleek hunting machine with great big wings and see in the dark eyes and he eventually loses his temper shouting.... I AM NOT CUTE!

                Mummy owl reassures him that he is the big, fierce hunter he thinks he is, and is certainly not cute!
                Suddenly baby owl thinks cute isn't so bad afterall and protests he is actually cute!! Just in time for mum to tuck him into bed!

                This is a really lovely story that adults will be able to relate to with their own children.

                The bed time ending makes it ideal to use as a bed time story.... look baby owl is fast asleep, now its time for you to sleep too!!

                The different style of fonts used is really effective as it portrays the emotions of baby owl very well.

                The illustrations are simple and not overly exciting, but the story itself makes up for it.

                It is a great example for children to see that sometimes how others see you isn't always how you may see yourself.

                Although my little one enjoys listening to this story, it isn't one of his favorites and he would never choose it at story time- This of course is personal preferance.

                I think it is a lovely book especially as it was a free gift!.... Thanks Bookstart!

                Worth a read, maybe borrow from the library first.

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                  30.08.2009 21:04
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                  a great book from a great series.

                  My daughter is a big fan of "I'm not scared" by Jonathon Allen, so I knew we had to read "I'm not cute" as well, especially after reading such lovely reviews about the book on here.

                  Picture a really cute and cuddly owl who walks around carrying a little teddy owl under his wing, and I defy you not to fall in love with him. My daughter and I did the first time we saw him, and my first instinct was to go "aww he's cute".
                  Exactly the impression Allen would have wanted from his reading audience, as we learn quickly through the book.

                  Baby owl is out for a walk with little owly when he comes across fox, rabbit and squirrel. Each of the animals tell Baby owl how cute they think he is and give him a hug.
                  Baby owl doesn't take too kindly to this as he thinks he is a scary owl who hunts animals and can see in the dark, just like his Dad.
                  With each animal insisting baby owl is cute, he get crosser and crosser as he tells them, eventually shouting at them that he isn't cute.

                  Mum comes along soon after and baby owl explains to her what all the animals have said. Mum agrees with bay owl and tells him that he is indeed very scary.
                  Baby owl isn't sure what to think of what his mum has said and has a little tantrum about it. It turns out he does actually want to be cute after all.
                  Of course he is cute, and as a mother she will agree with anything her baby is saying to make him happy. After tucking him up in bed she insists he is both the mean scary animal he wants to be but cute at the same time.

                  My daughter took to this book the first time we read it. We read it on a daily basis now and she has almost gotten all the words down to a fine art before I read them.
                  The one page that makes me chuckle is when squirrel comes along as he is hanging upside down from a tree. My daughter always turns the book upside down and then wonders why baby owl is now hanging upside down.
                  Despite explaining to her she does it every time.
                  I think the pictures in this book are done brilliantly. They are simple yet effective, with basic background scenery included, but there is enough description in the pictures to add to the minimal amount of words that is the story.
                  Put together it works well and the story is a firm favourite.

                  Making children understand that something can be cute as well as scary is a great concept. The reader learns what an owl does by reading about hunting animals and seeing in the dark, yet having nice fluffy feathers and carrying around a toy teddy bear makes the scary animal seem a little friendlier.
                  ISBN: 978-1905417889. RRP: £4.99. Published: 2008

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                    29.08.2009 23:33
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                    Highly Recommended

                    I'm Not Cute! By Jonathan Allen is the latest favourite in our house for bedtime reading at the moment. The grandson hasn't got a great sense of humour, but he really gets the little joke here and finds it both funny and endearing. I think on some sly level he can relate to Baby Owl's obstinance!

                    I'm Not Cute! Tells the story of baby owl and his resentment towards being called cute by all of the animals in the forest. He comes up with new and scary responses to every animal who calls him cute. For instance on one page, he replies that he's not cute, but a big scary killing machine. He makes similar responses to everyone who says he's cute on his journey through the forest.

                    Finally he comes to his Mum, and throws a tantrum because everyone keeps calling him cute and he's not cute!! Mum reassures him that of course he's not cute, he's a big scary killing machine (and quotes his own words back at him from the various pages). Baby Owl realises that's not what he wanted to hear though, and gets very upset. He protests that he is cute really in the end!

                    It's a story I think most parents will be able to relate to above anything else! How many times have kids changed their mind just because they want to disagree with everything you're saying?! It's a very cute story from a kid's point of view too though, as the joke is so simple and easy to explain to them. Even if they don't understand the irony of it (which they probably won't), they will understand that Baby Owl said he wasn't cute and then got upset when his Mum agreed that he wasn't.

                    The pictures in this book are of the nicest I've seen in a while. The pages aren't packed with colour, they tend to focus on a few simple animals and choice bits of scenery in the middle of each clear white page. The illustrations are well constructed, with the animals all appearing to be slightly realistic and slightly cartoonish at the same time.

                    There are only a few lines per page, so this is quite a short book really. It's ideal for a bedtime story as it takes less than five minutes to read. It's also A4 sized, so it's a great book for sharing with a youngster. I'd imagine that children between around two years and six years would enjoy this, with some early readers managing to share the reading with you in places thanks to the large print text.

                    If you want to buy a copy of this, it's available from Amazon for £4.99. I don't think that's an unreasonable price for a well written A4 book with such nice illustrations.

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                      12.08.2009 02:20
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                      Recommended! Meet Baby Owl and decide for yourself, but I bet you will love him!

                      One of my two year old granddaughter's favourite books at the moment is I'm Not Cute by Jonathan Allen, which she received in a Bookstart pack from the doctor's surgery last month.

                      I'm Not Cute tells the story of a baby owl who has gone to explore the woods. As he goes on his travels he meets a range of animals, all of whom think Baby Owl is the cutest thing they have ever seen and give him a great big hug.

                      Of course, Baby Owl doesn't want to be cute and proclaims himself to be "a huge, sleek hunting machine with great big see-in-the-dark eyes." Only when his Mum comes along and agrees that, no, Baby Owl is not cute, Baby Owl thinks for a moment then throws himself on the floor screaming: "But I am cute! I am! I AM!"

                      Isn't that just the story of any toddler? I know my granddaughter is all for being a 'big girl' until her mummy agrees with her about it, she then reverts to being a baby in an instant!

                      I'm Not Cute! is written and illustrated in such a lovely way. The wording is so sweet and an absolute joy to read, I particularly like it that the story is so funny because as the reading adult I can appreciate it on so many more levels than my granddaughter.

                      If there's one complaint about I'm Not Cute! it's that the story cannot be told properly if you're not prepared to do the voices. You really have to be able to speak like Baby Owl or Squirrel or Fox because there is so much speech involved in the story. My son in law sometimes reads this to my granddaughter and he point blank REFUSES to speak like a baby owl, well, the story just completely loses it's appeal! In the gruff voice of a grown man the story could be a page from The Times, however, Nanny isn't embarrassed to imitate Mummy Owl so all's well and good!

                      I would say this book would appeal to a wide range of ages. From as soon as your little one is ready to have a story read to them they will enjoy the story. The main thing here is that the various animals all give Baby Owl a 'great big hug' so there's plenty of opportunity for interaction between the reader and baby/toddler. My granddaughter and I have a hug whenever the story calls for it and I can imagine how much she would have enjoyed it as a younger baby.

                      My neice visited last week with her four year old, Gemma is just learning to read and she loved I'm Not Cute! as the words used in the story were mainly ones she already knew. She found the story very sweet and coo-ed so much over Baby Owl that it was obvious that the very plain moral behind this tale had gotten through.

                      And the moral? Of course the moral is that despite his protestations, Baby Owl is very cute indeed! The illustrations all scream 'cute'. Those of you with a toddler in your life will really appreciate the pictures because seeing Baby Owl having his increasingly angry tantrums will immediately remind you of the terrible twos! We are currently suffering the complete defiance of my granddaughter and Baby Owl is just like her; sometimes I feel as though I could say the grass was green to Hollie and she would still argue, she is a real Miss Independant. But if it suits her to be a baby, well..... "But I am cute! I am! I AM!"

                      I really love the story, but am equally impressed with how well the book is constructed. It's a board book so ideal for toddlers, the pages are all still tight to the spine and this is after four weeks of almost constant reading. Whenever I visit she knows I will read her a book and just lately whenever I send her to her bookshelf to pick something out it's I'm Not Cute! as she loves both the story and the characters.

                      I think most toddlers love animals and this is another plus point for I'm Not Cute!. The animals are all so friendly looking and even when Baby Owl is having a paddy he is still adorable, you so want to agree with him when he wants to be grown up but (like your own baby) you are fully aware of how young and vulnerable he really is.

                      I completely recommend this book. It's absolutely enchanting. From Amazon you can buy a board copy for £4.74, which I would say is reasonable for such a lovely story that I'm sure any young child would love.

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                        14.06.2009 10:50
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                        Well worth buying for younger children, a great read.

                        This book is aimed at very young children; the copy we have is a medium sized paperback book with a shiny cover.

                        The cover of the book has the words 'I'm Not Cute' a lovely drawing of a fluffy baby owl with a scowl on his face and Jonathan Allen (the Author) at the bottom. As you open the cover of the book you are greeted by two full pages of Baby Owl in different poses and looks on his face...all very cute I might add...my daughter loves looking at these over and over again.

                        Turning over the next page, we are greeted by a similar picture to that of the front of the book except that the picture is different; it shows Baby Owl being cuddled by Rabbit.

                        =+=+= The Story =+=+=

                        For those that want to be held in suspense I suggest that you abandon this review altogether, for those of you that don't mind the plot being spoilt then I will carry on.

                        The story is all about Baby Owl and the animals he meets as he explores the woods where he lives. Baby Owl likes to think that he is and I quote 'A huge and scary hunting machine with great big soft and silent wings and great big see-in-the-dark eyes'.

                        Throughout the book Baby Owl meets three different characters, Rabbit who thinks he's cute and small and gives him a hug, Fox who thinks he's cute and fluffy and who also gives him a hug and lastly Squirrel who also thinks he's cute and has big baby eyes. Baby Owl doesn't like this one bit and has a huge temper tantrum where he shouts 'I'm NOT cute! And I don't have big baby eyes'

                        His mum comes along at this point and he tells her what the other animals said about him and being his mum she agrees, with a smile on her face, that he isn't what they said he is and gives him a hug. To which Baby Owl thinks about this statement and has a tantrum about the fact that he his cute and doesn't agree with his mum.

                        His mum then picks him up as she thinks he's tired and takes him home to bed and reads him a story, as he's drifting off to sleep she whispers that he is cute for a huge scary, sleek, sharp-eyed hunting machine, that is and bids him good night.

                        =+=+= My Opinion =+=+=

                        There are lovely colourful illustrations in this book by the Author and they make the whole story come alive.

                        My daughter loves the big words and throughout the book I get her to join in and shout where necessary, she loves looking at Baby Owl and the pictures and points to the relevant characters as she sits and 'reads' the book herself (she can't read just yet but loves to pretend).

                        =+=+= Price and Availability=+=+=

                        This book is printed by Boxer Books Limited and is available from most of the bookshops I have seen, you can probably get this from the charity shop and library.

                        ISBN: 0-9547373-8-5

                        Price: £5.99

                        I would highly recommend a look at this book as I think your children will love it as much as my daughter does.

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                          12.06.2009 22:15
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                          Baby Owl is cute

                          Jonathan Allen is fast becoming one my favourite children's authors...are they classed as an author when they write books only a few pages long? I have now read quite a few of his children's books, but this one - 'I'm Not Cute!' - was the first I came across It was in one of my daughter's Bookstart packs, her 18 month one I think, and it was a hit straight away.

                          The front cover has the words 'I'm not Cute!' emblazoned across the top of the page, then underneath there is a picture of a bewildered looking baby owl...it makes you know that this book is going to be somewhat amusing.

                          The story is about Baby Owl (he has no name just 'Baby Owl' which I thought was great because my daughter has a fixation with calling any of her little toys, babies, such as Baby Bear, Baby Elephant etc.)

                          The story is very simple:

                          Baby Owl has decided to explore the woods...'Nobody will bother ME' he thought...how wrong he was!

                          First of all along comes Rabbit who thinks Baby Owl is so cute and so small, and gives him a great big hug...Baby Owl is not very impressed with this and protests that he isn't cute and he is by no means small! He is in fact (according to Baby Owl) a huge and scary hunting machine. Then along comes Fox who says something similar, which infuriates Baby Owl even more, and then to make matters worse, Squirrel comes along and tells Baby Owl he is so cute with big baby eyes...By now Baby Owl is fuming and jumps up and down shouting 'I AM NOT CUTE AND I DON'T HAVE BIG BABY EYES!'

                          Then along comes his Mum who he complains to about everyone thinking he is cute. Mum tells him of course he isn't cute, he is a 'huge, scary, sleek, sharp-eyed hunting machine' and Mum gives him a great big hug. But Baby Owl wasn't happy with this...he throws himself on the floor...'But I am cute'...'I am! I AM!'

                          Mum knows Baby Owl is tired and puts him to bed and he drifts off to sleep...then she whispers in his ear 'You're so cute Baby Owl'...'For a huge, scary, sleek, sharp eyed hunting machine, that is.'

                          I thought this story was brilliant, the first time I read it to my daughter; she thought it was so funny, and she picked up the words straight away, the simple sentences really make it an easy book to read and it easily captures a child's attention. The phrase 'I am not cute!' immediately got my daughter's attention (probably because I was shouting it out loud), then when Baby Owl protests that he is cute - 'I am I AM!', she thought this was great and now she 'reads' this bit herself, as well as other parts from the book she can remember.

                          I love reading this book to my daughter and I'm sure many other parents will enjoy reading it to their children. It's an amusing tale of a moody little owl who just wants to have it his way all the time.

                          The illustrations really add to the story, they are simply done, with just a white background, but the expressions on Baby Owl's face really jump out at you and you just know he is an awkward, moody little fellow, rolling around on the floor when he is really cross. He seems to be frowning and angry all the time, until his Mum turns up that is, then his expression changes to feeble. Obviously an owl who likes to think he is brave and fierce, but really just wants his Mum.

                          My daughter enjoys looking at the pictures as well as reading the story; she often stops me mid sentence to ask 'What's Baby Owl doing Mummy?' I think it's his funny expressions that make her ask because they are really quite comical.

                          Since reading this I have taken other Jonathan Allen books from the library which have also been massive hits with my daughter, but this one still remains my favourite.

                          Highly recommended.

                          The price on the back is £5.99 but I have seen it on Amazon for £4.99.

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