I Don’t Care
Author: Julie Fogliano
Illustrator: Molly Idle & Juana Martinez-Neal
Published November 22nd, 2022 by Neal Porter Books
Summary: Two Caldecott honorees—and real-life best friends— team up to illustrate a story of friendship from bestselling author Julie Fogliano.
Like the two stars of this story, illustrators Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal know that differences only make a good friendship stronger. In this bouncy, rhyming story, two best friends think about all the little things that don’t matter– and the big things that really, really do.
Mostly I care that you’re you and I’m me,
and I care that we’re us,
and I care that we’re we.
With each artist designing and drawing one character, and collaborating on the scenery and details, Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal transformed this sweet story into a celebration of friendship– including their own– and a unique artistic vision.
Working remotely, they swapped drawings across the country, using a limited palette of teal and yellow over graphite. As artwork passed back and forth between their mailboxes, childhood versions of each artist came to life and came together on the page into one unified creation.
Award-winning author Julie Fogliano’s rhythmic rhymes bring it all together, expressing the unconditional love any best friend can relate to.
★ “Fogliano’s sprightly, rhythmic text sets a fun tone for exploring what really matters in friendship. While effective picture books grow from the combining of words and images, this book takes the collaboration a step further by drawing on the talents of real-life best friends and Caldecott honorees Idle and Martinez-Neal. . . . The result is a warm, loving celebration of how to be a friend, and a successful artistic experiment.”—Booklist, Starred Review
★ “A psychologically acute tally of friendship’s most solid foundations, worth sharing with audiences large or small and tailor-made for reading aloud.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review
★ “A friendship book made by friends. . . . Fogliano’s deftly rhymed verses, which never miss a beat in their cadence or in their emotional resonance, help readers realize that while the friends don’t care about surface matters like appearance, attire, or possessions, they do care about each other. Compositionally, they end up occupying shared space on the spreads and will doubtlessly take up residence in readers’ hearts, too. . . . Show you care by sharing this book with others.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
About the Creators:
Julie Fogliano is the New York Times bestselling author of, among other titles, And Then It’s Spring and If You Want to See a Whale, both illustrated by Erin Stead, and When Green Becomes Tomatoes, illustrated by Julie Morstad. Her first book for Holiday House was Just in Case You Want to Fly, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Recipient of the 2013 Ezra Jack Keats Award and two Boston Globe–Horn Book Honors, her books have been translated into more than ten languages. Julie lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and three children.
Molly Idle is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor–winning book Flora and the Flamingo. She is also the creator of Tea Rex, the mermaid tales Pearl and Coral, and Witch Hazel. Molly lives with her fabulous family in Tempe, Arizona—where she can most often be found with a cup of espresso in one hand and a pencil in the other, scribbling away on her next book. To learn more about Molly and her work, visit IdleIllustration.com.
Juana Martinez-Neal is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor–winning book Alma and How She Got Her Name. She also illustrated New York Times bestselling picture book Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi; Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, which won a Robert F. Sibert Medal; and La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, for which she won a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Juana Martinez-Neal lives in Connecticut with her family. Visit her online at www.juanamartinezneal.com.
Review: What a beautiful book to celebrate how friends don’t have to be exactly the same and instead it is about the type of person you are that lends to the type of friend you are. The text was also done quite cleverly switching from what the young children don’t care about to what they do care about in a contrasting structure.
The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL, which I am sure you assume if you know Idle & Martinez-Neal’s work. And I love how the illustrators are in real life Best Friends and Molly Idle had to get Juana Martinez-Neal to do it with her to make it truly authentic.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This text is a wonderful way to introduce compare and contrast, of friends, like the book, or of characters.
Also, there is a wonderful edition of Ready Set Draw! with all three creators where viewers get to see how the collaboration worked. It would be a great deep dive into the book and could lend itself to having students work together to create their own stories comparing and contrasting the students working on it.
- How are your best friend and you alike and different?
- What is most important for you when it comes to finding a friend?
- What are some things you DON’T care about when it comes to a friend?
- What are the similarities and differences between the two characters in the book?
- What is the theme of the book?
Read This If You Love: Books about friendship and how people with differences can still get along
**Thank you to Sara at Holiday House for providing a copy for review!!**