I Won't Give Up My Rubber Band

by Shinsuke Yoshitake (Author)

I Won't Give Up My Rubber Band
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

An everyday object (the endlessly versatile rubber band) becomes an invitation to imagine new possibilities in the latest laugh-out-loud picture book from acclaimed author-illustrator Shinsuke Yoshitake!

What can you do with a rubber band? You can do everyday things, like keep it close when you sleep or bring it along at bath time. And you can do exciting, unexpected things, like use it to bungee jump out of a plane or to grab a snack. With a special object of your very own, the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination!

Acclaimed Japanese author-illustrator Shinsuke Yoshitake (The Boring Book, There Must Be More Than That!, I Can Be Anything, The I Wonder Bookstore) delivers another laugh-out-loud experience in his latest picture book. With signature humor, wit, and boundless creativity, this charming story celebrates the potential of everyday objects to become catalysts for curiosity and play, at once honoring a child's attachment to favorite objects and opening the door to a world of exciting new objects and experiences. 

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[I Won't Give Up My Rubber Band], translated from the original Japanese, captures the glorious imaginative play that ignites in the type of child who collects odds and ends and sees them as amazing. . . . Yoshitake's artwork is, as usual, minimalist and childishly simplistic. . . . The plot, spare though it is, includes sweet messaging about how treasure is personal, no matter one's age.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A message to savor, delivered with a light touch and contagious glee. 

Publishers Weekly

All that glitters is not gold in a comedic picture book about childhood agency and small delights. Finding a humble rubber band next to a wastebasket, the eager child narrator asks their mother for it. Wish granted, the child's eyes grow wide with the thrill of solo ownership: "I have a rubber band! This is my rubber band!" Subsequent spreads envisage the possible adventures of child and elastic, in the present day (baths, co-sleeping), in the future (gathering hair and love letters), and in more speculative scenarios (capturing baddies, saving the world). These plans lead to musings about others' attachments, then reasoning about how "everyone always seems to be looking for something." Throughout, dot-eyed characters, portrayed with paper-white skin and brown-toned hair, interact with various objects, and one spread offers a visual accounting of pocket-size treasures: key chains and toys, a tuning fork and an acorn. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder in this gently philosophical love letter to the quotidian, but Yoshitake (I Can Be Anything) cleverly elevates the simple joy of having "something that's just mine." Final art not seen by PW. Ages 3-5. (May)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1--A small child of no obvious gender finds a rubber band and claims it a treasure. With their rubber band they imagine all sorts of adventures they will have and all of the uses for the band, from normal hair tie to saving the world. The text is very spare, standing out clearly from the illustrations, with basic and repetitive vocabulary employed. Complementing the text and in service to the story are Yoshitake's illustrations, which show off the adorable and zany antics of the child in bright colors and accessible images. These convey the inner world of the child as well as some particularly hilarious facial expressions. Overall, Yoshitake has created a story that takes readers into that dynamic chaos of a child's mind, and all with a simple rubber band. VERDICT A winsome read-aloud that shows the expanse of a child's imagination, this is not an essential purchase but it is certainly an endearing one.--Margaret Kennelly

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Shinsuke Yoshitake
Shinsuke Yoshitake is the author-illustrator of The Boring Book and The I Wonder Bookstore and the creator of many award-winning picture books. He lives in Japan.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Chronicle Books
Publication date
May 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV030020 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | Asia
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Personal belongings
Rubber bands

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