I Didn’t Do It! is one of the classic Little Princess Stories by Tony Ross. The stories have now been made into a television series, from which there is a series of spin off books, none of which are as good as the early ones by Ross.
In this book, the Little Princess is being blamed for things she is adamant she did not do. Her defiant cry of ‘I didn’t do it!’ echoes around the castle, and all the people she encounters refuse to believe her, so she gets madder and madder.
Eventually she finds the Little Prince, who listens sympathetically to her story. He believes her, and she cannot understand why, until he confesses that he did all those things himself.
To sweeten the blow he has saved her some chocolate cake.
I love the Little Princess. I love that she is is feisty and unconventional and fierce. I love that Tony Ross draws her with such character in her face. She is so expressive, and I particularly love the world he has created for her to live in, with Doctors who are always ill and admirals who have to wear a rubber ring in the water.
There is always something going on in the background of Ross’s stories which make them delightful to read. In this story I was particularly keen on the General, who gets to quite like the bicycle bell stuck on his hobby horse’s ear.
The books are perfectly in tune with the way a small, fierce child encounters the world. There are never any particularly magic or moral answers, but for all their silliness they do resonate with the way a child sees the world and shows it back to them, which is pretty wonderful.
These books are suitable for boys and girls aged about 2-6.