Terri's Reviews > Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems

Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It by Gail Carson Levine
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May 16, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 35-consideration, highly-recommended
Read in September, 2012

Oh my, the things a teacher can do with this book! It is an obvious invitation to writing, but can also be used to teach allusion, tone, perspective, and that's just the beginning! Levine lets many familiar folk and fairy tale characters offer tongue-in-cheek apologies that fly right over the head of readers who aren't familiar with the old tales. My favorites? Jack's cow, who thinks she's "worth more than five magic beans;" and Pinocchio, who thinks telling lies is fun and doesn't "want to be a real boy anyway," come to mind.

Oddly, I didn't find a poem to accompany the illustration on the cover. Maybe I has two pages stick together or something, but I never one that went with a sinking rowboat and a grinning shark. So I wrote my own!

This is just to say

That I have bitten
A gaping hole
In the bottom
Of your boat

Where you felt
So safe and secure,
Bobbing on the waves
Above my circling.

Forgive me,
But a fish has to eat,
And you look so very, very
Tasty!


If I can do it, so can your students! Challenge them to choose a character from a favorite story, TV program or movie and write a false apology poem from the perspective of that character.

Pair this book with Joyce Sidman's This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness to examine the tone of Sidman's true apologies versus Levine's sly, snarky false ones. What fun!
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