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It's Not Fair!
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It's Not Fair!

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Why'd I get the smaller half? Why don't you yell at her? Why does my team always lose? Why can't we have a pet giraffe? Because that's life. And life can't always go the way we want it to. But with this delightful and witty book, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld reassure us that everyone, including pigs, planets, and square pegs, sometimes thinks: It's not fair!
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by HarperCollins (first published May 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 412)
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Ana Rînceanu
As an adult, I enjoyed the irony. My little cousin enjoyed the rhymes. I think we got a lot out of this book :)
Lain
I'm not sure my preschooler understood the irony of this book (EVERYONE thinks "It's not fair" at one time or another!). But we still enjoyed reading it, and it did spark a bit of conversation about how even the planets might be jealous of one another.

This could have been more meaningful to kids if it had shown pairs of people (and planets!) being jealous of each other -- like, Mars is jealous of Saturn (Why does SHE get all the rings?) and Saturn is jealous of Mars (Why does HE get to be so clo
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Ro Givens
This book has a special place in my grumpy 4 year olds heart. I don't know how she was listening to us but "Hey it was my turn to stir" is a direct quote from my son. It's helped us talk more about how life is not always fair and he asks us to read it every night at bedtime. So it seems to validate his feelings and allow him to realize that everyone, including him, has to deal with the unfairness of life.
Sarah
A list of gripes about perceived slights: as we move from common ones (he got the bigger cookie) to downright silly ones (a stool complains that the chair gets an extra leg) we get the idea that fairness is a matter of perspective. A fun addition to the preschool collection.
Sarah
This one just perfectly describes my childhood--I wish that I'd had a t-shirt with some of these great images and sayings on them! We just got a copy of this at my branch, so awesome!
Rainey
I hoped this story would have a light moral or a resolution. It was actually a book full of children whining.
Gwen the Librarian
Why’d she get a bigger cookie? Why do I have chicken pox on my birthday? He gets to stay up later than me! It’s not fair! Told in a series of vignettes, from a wide variety of perspectives, this is a book-long whine about fairness. Cleverly arranged so that different people—and objects, like a pig and a stool—all get a chance to share their complaint, Rosenthal shows that everyone thinks they’re getting a worse deal than someone else and that you can be envied for something you don’t think is ve ...more
Libby
Feb 12, 2012 Libby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jessica Williams
Shelves: children-s-books
Reminded me of my sister - she thinks I get my way all the time...then states, "It's not fair!" I'm here to say I don't always get my way!!!

What a fun story about how life will throw us little things that don't go our way, and we just want to stammer and say, "It's Not Fair!" This story is a good read to show young children that LIFE isn't always going to go our way.

I have to mention that the last page was a true statement about reading, and I often wonder why GOOD books can't just go on and on.
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Sheri
This is a simple picture book about fairness and a good read aloud to small or younger children about fairness and things that don't seem fair. Creates discussion with siblings or grade school kids about fairness and why it isn't always fair. No answers or resolutions just creates the questions and opens discussion.
babyhippoface
Life's just not fair, as evidenced by the varied things that cause us to declare unfairness: "Why can't I have a pet giraffe?" "Why don't you yell at her!" "Why does my team always lose?"

Colorful cartoon illustrations capture the frustration of characters as they express unhappiness with their situations, which get more absurd with each page turn. Newborns in the hospital, a chicken, an alien, and even a three-legged stool ("Why'd he get an extra leg?") find reasons to complain about perceived
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Fjóla
This book is a little problematic, because the (very simple) text and the illustrations seem to be geared at young preschoolers, yet the message in my opinion is suited for much older kids, maybe 8 year olds. And the message is not subtle at all: It's Not Fair! Life's Not Fair! Suck it up! There's nothing in here that I feel fit to elaborate on with my 3 year old, and I felt a little embarrassed, leafing through this book with him. I was probably hoping he wouldn't ask me any questions.

The book
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Joe
Love this book, especially when I read it with my kids claiming it's not fair who gets the prime spot on my lap.
Deanna Donald
Reading "It's Not Fair" definitely took me back to my childhood with my sister. It is a good read as it asks the questions are continuously asking and saying. It's always good for children to be able to identify themselves in the books theyy read and this a perfect book for that. All children find things that are just unfair and they are quick to point that out. I would definitely recommend this book to a student who finds things to be unfair to show them that there are unfair things, but it's o ...more
Julie
A great choice for the student/child who always says, "That's not fair!"
Jiali Yu
There are many unfairness in the world, but why always look the down sides?
Dotty
Wonderful way for the "it's not fair" discussion.
Randie
Rosenthal and Lichtenheld paired up to create the book that expresses the feelings of countless children...it's not fair! Why does one sibling get the larger half of a cookie? Why can't I have curly locks? It's not fair. I personally liked the examples from the creatures: Why does he get all the eyes? It's not fair.

Life is not fair. Children and even some adults have a hard time grasping this concept so the humor in this book is a great way to discuss these feelings with those who stuck on issue
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Sharon
It's Not Fair! A phrase so often heard by many young children but yet speaks volume with reference to their impatience and sometimes validated right to complain amid the injustice. I related to many of the unfair complaints proclaimed in this story and I also found the story to be quite humorous. Simple language and repeated phrases are used throughout this story. This would be a great read-alooud to share with your students and it is more than likely to be a favorite, as it is a favorite of min ...more
Shira Burns
Young readers will be able to connect to this text, because at some point in there lives they have believed something to be unfair. This book will help to assure children that they are not the only ones that have ever felt this way and that it is natural to feel this way. In short, that is just the way the world turns. The book could easily be used in the classroom to teach about punctuation (specifically question marks and exclamation marks) and when their use is appropriate.
Bree Bosse
This is a hilarious book about things being not fair, something you often hear from kids .. and adults for that matter. This book would be great for a read-a-loud to show children that life isn't fair and life doesn't always work out how we want it to but life still goes on. Children can see that everyone/thing in life sometimes think life isn't fair and this could be good to teach children to appreciate what they have.
Heidi
I like all the silly and not-so-silly things that the characters in this book complain about. I can relate to a few of them. I like that the book addresses something everyone knows: life is not fair. What I don't like is there isn't much of a resolution in just accepting that life isn't fair, or finding the positive when it seems it's all negative. But that's just me and my adopted Pollyanna personality! :-)
Dolly
Aug 23, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful book with a rhyming narrative that depicts just some of the myriad ways in which life is just not fair. It has fun illustrations and is a great book to read aloud. Still, our girls utter that dreaded refrain several times a day: "It's not fair!" So I'm afraid this story did little to make them understand just how true, and how futile, that statement is at affecting the way things turn out.
Jen Kahl
I absolutely loved this story. The book is about how life just isn't fair, from getting the bigger half of a cookie to their team always losing. This book would be useful for siblings, as well as explaining fairness in school. The illustrations are very simple but cute. I would definitely use this in my classroom to open up a discussion for younger children and explaining fairness!
Miriam Garcia
This book is a good book to read to the younger kids because it can relate to them. Kids seem to think that many things are not fair so this can be a prompt to write about the children think is not fair to them. In the end children can also learn that not everything in life is fair but it is what it is and we should make the best out of it.
Ryan
Love this illustrator.
Simple concept. I was hoping for some twist of an ending to explain why kids should stop whining, but I suppose in the end, all the examples might be enough to show kids how silly (and annoying) it is.
Stupid, complaining kids.
LIFE ISN'T FAIR. DEAL WITH IT.
There. There's your ending.
Tiffany
I really like this book. Even adults periodically say, "It's not fair!" This helps the children perhaps see how it feels to hear those words from a different persepctive and think about being fair to others and not jsut themselves. You could also do grammar lessons about question marks and how to ask a question.
Shelli
One of the perks to only having one child is not having to hear “it’s not fair” that often. Thank goodness!! Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld did a wonderful job making a colorful and fun picture book of several of life’s unfairnesses, each example growing a bit more extreme and silly.
JaNeal
This is simply just a for-fun book on that all too familiar phrase--"it's not fair." I love how this book grows in wackiness as the story progresses. I also love the interplay between the text and the illustrations. This book adds a little humor to that itchy topic of fairness.
Tracy
Wow! If you have two kids squabbling about how it's "not fair" this is the best book! I just read to my 9 and 5 year old and they somehow bonded over it and are convinced that they aren't as bad as the characters in the book. My new favorite book!!!
Zach
Even though things may not always go our way, we have to learn to roll with the punches and take things in strides. This book does an excellent job with helping to teach that to young children. A book that every child can relate to.
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Amy Krouse Rosenthal is. She divides her time.
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