I Yam a Donkey by Cece Bell

I Yam a Donkey

Written by Cece Bell

3+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Cece Bell, best known for her highly praised graphic novel El Deafo, here turns her attention to the dangers of grammar – or rather the confusion, sometimes deadly, that can occur if its rules are ignored. Here a yam tries unsuccessfully to correct a donkey when it proclaims ‘I yam a donkey’. As their back and forth exchange gets sillier, a groups of fellow vegetables arrive and the yam uses them to demonstrated the forms of the verb to be, ending ‘we are vegetables’ – at which point, the donkey eats them. Children might not follow all the grammatical arguments, but they’ll love the donkey’s cheerful incomprehension, and very much enjoy the book’s moral ‘If you is going to be eaten, good grammar don’t matter.’ ~ Andrea Reece

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I Yam a Donkey


I Yam a Donkey by Cece Bell

I YAM a donkey! said Donkey. I AM a donkey! replied Yam. You is a donkey too? A Yam who hates sloppy pronunciation and poor grammar triest his hardest to correct an ungrammatical donkey. An escalating series of misunderstandings leaves the yam furious and the clueless donkey bewildered by the yam's growing (and amusing) frustration. The yam finally gets his point across, but regrettably, he's made the situation a little bit too clear...and the story ends with a dark and outrageously funny twist.


The wordplay is kid-pleasingly silly with a tiny whiff of sophistication...children will never hear eat your vegetables the same way again. Horn Book Magazine, starred review

In a linguistic landscape where literally can mean figuratively and flammable and inflammable are interchangeable, Bell's story celebrates the idea that language changes, and pedants who can't adapt will be left in the dust (or in a donkey's belly). Publishers Weekly, starred review

This irreverent, animated outing fairly begs to be read aloud, and children will demand repeat readings. Booklist

A hilarious battle of wits between cleverly anthropomorphized cartoon figures...Grab a teaching partner or fellow librarian for a crowd-pleasing dual read. Bulletin

About the Author

Cece Bell is the illustrator of the successful Sock Monkey series from Candlewick and Crankee Doodle by her husband Tom Angleberger. She has a graduate degree in illustration and design from Kent State University. She is hearing impaired.

She lives in an old church in Virginia and works in a new-ish barn right next door. She grew up in Salem, Viriginia and drank a lot of limeades at the Brooks-Byrd Pharmacy downtown. She met her husband, writer Tom Angleberger, at the College of William and Mary, where they were both art majors. Cece went on to get a graduate degree in illustration and design at Kent State University (amazing program!). She has worked as a freelance illustrator for all kinds of nutty projects, but is now a full-time author and illustrator. Cece enjoys moments of hilarity with Tom, along with three three lady dogs and two youngsters.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: To 5


Cece Bell
More books by Cece Bell

Author's Website



Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

4th August 2016




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

Publisher's Website


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