I’m Done! – Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan, illustrated by Catherine Lazar Odell

I’m Done! – Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan, illustrated by Catherine Lazar Odell, Holiday House, 9780823437054, 2018

Format Hardcover

Rating 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5

Genre Picture book

What did you like about the book? I really liked the message in this story.  A beaver family is busy making their dams — Papa is making a family dam, Mama is making the lodge, and Little Beaver is in charge of making his own dam that blocks the water.  Unfortunately, Little Beaver wants to do just about anything but build his dam. First he puts down one stick and says “I’m done!” and goes off to play with fish. After being reprimanded by his father he then goes and puts down two more sticks, only to be tempted by a bird in a game of chase.  This continues throughout the day — only a few sticks at a time added to the dam and Little Beaver being distracted by his friends. (I am sure by now this sounds so familiar to many parents!) Unfortunately, Little Beaver soon realizes he is not as finished with his dam as he thinks he is when water comes rushing through in the middle of the night.  Instead of tempting him with play, his friends come to his aid and help him complete his dam.

I think the message of this story is so perfect with young children.  Whether it is picking up toys, clearing dishes from the table or countless other small chores, sometimes children find it challenging to fully complete a task.  This book points out the consequences of not properly completing something but also the satisfaction of a job well done.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? I think children between the ages of 3 and 6 would enjoy this story.

Who should buy it? Public and elementary school libraries, preschools, daycares, nursery schools.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” pile? Yes.  There are several books out there about completing a task and doing a good job, but I like how this points out that a weak attempt is just a bad as not doing the job at all — in the end, Little Beaver’s poorly constructed dam did nothing to hold back the water.

Reviewer:  Kristin Guay, Centerville Library, Centerville, MA

Date of Review:  November 5, 2018


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