2023 Geisel Award Winner: I Did It! by Michael Emberley

I Did It!, winner of this year’s Geisel Award for early readers, charmingly illustrates a common childhood experience: trying and failing.

I Did It! by Michael Emberley. Holiday House (I Like to Read Comics), 2022, 40 pages.

Reading Level: Easy Reader, ages 3-5

Recommended for: ages 4-6

Every child—and every adult, for that matter—knows the frustration of trying and failing. I Did It! follows a loveable creature of uncertain species through a series of mishaps, as he (assuming the gender) tries to participate in the fun activities of his friends. Said friends combine animal and mechanical characteristics, but all are cute and friendly and helpful as our hero tries to build, climb, swing, and ride. He begins with confidence: “I can do it.” But at each failure, “I can’t do it!” Every young reader can sympathize with his frustration and anger. That’s why his final triumph—“I did it!”—is especially encouraging.

A handful of words and endearing illustrations will help a just-beginning reader close the book with a satisfied, “I did it!”

Overall Rating: 4.5

Worldview/moral value: 4

Artistic/literary value: 5

NOTE: I Did It! won the 2022 Theodore Geisel Award for excellent in books for beginning readers. Michael Emberley is the son of Ed Emberley, that prolific creator of how-to-draw books from our childhood.

Read more about our ratings here.                 

Also at Redeemed Reader:

Review: Megan loved the 2021 Geisel winner, See the Cat: Three Stories about a Dog.

Review: Four books won the Geisel honor title this year. See our reviews.

Reflection: It’s not to early to ask, What kind of reader is sitting next to you? Betsy describes The Nurturer and The Adventurer.

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