#508 – I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . by Davide Cali & Benjamin Chaud

didnt do hoomework because.

I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…

by Davide Cali & Benjamin Chaud

Chronicle Books     2014


Age 8 to 12    40 pages


Back Cover

“WHEN TO  USE THIS BOOK: Whenever you haven’t finished your homework.

“CAUTION: Each excuse may only be used once.”


“So, why didn’t you do your homework?”

“I didn’t do my homework because . . . An airplane full of monkeys landed in our yard.”

The Story

A middle grade student has not finished his homework and must give his teacher an excuse. Why did he not have his homework? As  you already know, an airplane full of monkeys landed in his yard. If that wasn’t enough,  a rebellious robot destroyed his house. He barely got out with his books intact. Oh, the actual homework, you ask? Well, that is hard to complete when you have a bedroom full of recently escaped convicts hiding there. And then, anything he did get done was eaten by his dog, and it was eaten by another dog, so he spent the rest of the day at the vet’s office. Of course he is too young and without income to of used services like the IELTS essay correction to help him out in a pinch.

The teacher, being like most teachers, didn’t believe a syllable that this young student said. So he kept on trying. Who would not believe that some huge birds made a nest out of his house’s roof, and then the birds must have flown off with the roof, because now it is gone? “Okay, maybe that was much,” the middle grader would say, “but my brother was kidnapped by a circus and I was forced to watch him perform.” The teacher never did believe a word this poor, homeless, now only child had to say in his own defense.


In I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . The young boy has some of the most inventive excuses I have ever heard. The true test is with teachers. How many of this young man’s excuses have been heard before, versus the number that are fresh and new? Only the latter excuses will matter to the average middle grade reader. Most excuses are only good once. There is some kind of underground network, where teachers file excuses for all other teachers to check their student’s excuse against,  similar to how Grammarly helps teachers check for plagiarism.  If your excuse is on this registry there is no chance it will work, even when it is true.

teacher fr

The  illustrations detail the excuses with wonderful detail that will hold the attention of your mind’s eye. The author and illustrator worked together to make sure you could easily remember these excuses. If instructions would have been included they would have said, “Read it aloud and study the picture. The more senses you can involve the better you will remember. The illustrations depict the excuse as closely as possible with more than enough intimate features and qualities to ease the process. Sometimes silly illustrations are used to help you remember that excuse.”

If your brother were kidnapped by the circus,  would you remember this better if you saw him leaning out of a huge cannon, and the ringmaster at the other end with a large match ready to shoot him into outer space? You bet it would. That picture will stay in your head—and the teacher’s—long after the she has forgotten about your missing homework.

alien fr

Obviously, I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . is a humorous book depicting outrageous excuses one would never  actual encounter. The book is cute, makes fun of the silly excuses kids can think up and teachers must hear. This is a not a real story, as one expects a story. Nor is this a handbook of excuses, because they are too outlandish to be believable, though sometimes truth is stranger  than fiction.  I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . .is tongue-in-cheek fun middle graders will laugh at, as will younger kids—even those who cannot read.  There might even be a few teachers laughing along.  The book is a novelty-type book exaggerating the ritual of excuses for laughs and smiles. I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . easily accomplishes this goal.

If you like jokes, if you like comics, if you like silliness, or if you need more unbelievable excuses this year, I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . .  is for you. The book reminds me of the thin library jokes books or silly poetry books I’d  carry home by the arm loads. This light reading never needed to be dog eared—or cat whiskered—before closing the book unfinished. These books, and I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . .   are thin enough to find your place or start over and get to the last page read in minutes. The entire book will take no more than fifteen minutes to read cover-to-cover. Every time I read those books a smile jumped onto my face. I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . did the same, with a few BIG laughs.

penguns fr

A smile can change one’s entire attitude for the better. I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . will have kids giggling, parent’s grinning, and teachers groaning, but all will smile that magic transformative smile, the kind that instantly makes you feel good, as smiles are meant to do. If you want that smile of innocent complicity, this is the book to read. Keep it in your locker or desk drawer for quick reference or a needed smile. Most importantly, remember to check off each excuse as you use them. Beware of the teacher underground, .I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . is not guaranteed to get you out of doing your homework.


Learn more about  I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . .  HERE.     And on iTunes.

Get  copy of  I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . .  at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksyour local neighborhood bookstore.


Meet the author, Davide Cali:     wiki    facebook     twitter     goodreads

Meet the illustrator, Benjamin Chaud         blog     facebook     pinterest    vimeo     ficker     goodreads

Find more interesting Chronicle Books        website    blog    facebook    twitter    pinterest    instagram    G+    youtube    tumblr


I DIDN’T DO MY HOMEWORK BECAUSE . . . . Text copyright © 2014 by Davide Cali. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Benjamin Chaud. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.


bears song.


The Bear’s Song.

didnt do homework


41 thoughts on “#508 – I Didn’t Do My Homework Because . . . by Davide Cali & Benjamin Chaud

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  5. Sounds like a fun and creative book with laughs and laughter and laughing. I definitely want to read all the excuses.


    • Just the other day when I finally got to Barnes (it’s been 6 weeks! AGH!), I saw this on the shelf, and of course, I read it 🙂 It also has a twist ending 😀


      • Where do you live? A lot can happen in 6 weeks, but I didn’t know things were that bad. I am so, so sorry. I don’t mean to brag, but I will. I still have a Barnes AND Noble. I hope it isn’t just a Barnes where I move. I would miss Noble’s selections. Yeah, the twist is funny. Good thing Noble didn’t take the ending with him, huh? 😉


        • Sue, I think you misunderstood! It had been 6 weeks since I’d BEEN to Barnes—-’cause I’ve been sick, not any other reason lol Our Barnes & Noble here will probably stay open longer than many (if things start getting uglier in that respect) because they also use the back warehouse for developmental store stuff (displays, etc.) ’cause it’s enormous. They also own the property. It’s a huge, 2-floor building in which I’ve spent years (many of them almost every day, most/all of the day). Ever since I got involved helping head a conference, it gave me little/no time to go to Barnes, so it finally broke that habit. Now I almost never go there to TRY and work anymore (I’d end up in too many conversations ’cause I know so many people). I go to either have coffee with a friend or mosey through the aisles, filling a basket with books to read/check out, and enjoy the ambiance of being surrounded by books in a beautiful building 🙂


          • I was joking but apparently it was a bad joke.I thought it funny that you called B&N simply Barnes. I was wondering how bad things had gotten in your part of the world that Noble left Barnes. That is why I said it was good Noble had not left with the ending to the book. Okay, not funny. 😦


            • Oh, NOW I get it! Nope, I didn’t see what you were getting at. Probably my lack of brain power is more likely 😀 But yes, I very rarely refer to B&N as Barnes & Noble unless I’m talking to a stranger who would even question it. It’s “Barnes” to me and I “think” everyone I know here 🙂


    • The cover is still on the book. The book is most likely still on the shelf. What are you waiting for? Oops, sorry. Without the book you have no excuse to give. 🙂 (The book is funny, very funny. And those that teach will absolutely love the twist at the end.)


      • Oops, again. Where are my manners? I forgot. Aliens beamed up that part of my brain that says, “Thank you. I am glad to be back.” I was asleep in the hospital. I was warned you could get all kinds of nasty stuff while at the hospital, but not that you could lose something. So be careful if you ever have to go to a hospital. They might take your tail, or your reading glasses, or something else of utmost importance, like the part of your brain that say, “Eat, time to eat. Gotta eat. Where is my bowl, I gotta eat or I’ll fall over right now. I’m famished.” So be careful at the vets, is all I’m saying. 🙂


  6. This book looks wonderful! We all want to read it now. 🙂 Thanks for the great review.
    ~/(^.^)\ and =^.^=


    • Ah, Stanley, think of the excuses you could use. Katrina would not go near aliens, dinosaurs, or meatloaf. Oh, that last one might not be in this book. 🙂


        • Out of nowhere is most likely. At least for me. Most of my ideas turn out to be something I reviewed.. They get stuck in my head–the great ones do. I’ve heard it is okay to steal ideas. I wonder if a full text is okay, too? Or the illustrations? I would go to a different publisher, of course. 😉


  7. This looks like a VERY fun, fresh book, Sue. And the illustrations are great! Very fitting! Definitely worth a look-see 😀
    P.S. You back in the saddle again? Hope you’re feeling OK 🙂


    • This is a slim book a kid could carry with him, just in case an excuse is needed. How easily it could be changed to fit the circumstance: “I couldn’t mow the lawn, Dad. Aliens came down and thought the mower was one of us and took it back to Mars to study how “we” work.” Just switch the current problem for homework. “How was sewing class, son?” “A pack of wild dogs ate the pattern and tore of the material, so I didn’t make it to class.” 🙂


  8. Does this mean you’re back at it and you’re all fixed? I hope, we hope, everyone hopes!
    This looks like a silly book. I love silliness. Nice review, Sue!


    • There is a picture for every excuse. That is why there are 40 pages, still, it is a slim book and no bigger than 5 x 7, not a conventional picture book, but then this is for older kids (MG).


  9. Great review, Sue! I wish I had thought of this book. Love the illustrations. I bet it would have been a cute pb for older kids. I can see how it would appeal to the first grade crowd.


    • It was actually written for middle grade kids, but I think the younger ones would also think it funny. If they are getting homework, they will think it funny. 🙂


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