I Can't Do What?
Strange Laws and Rules from Around the WorldAuthor Heather Camlot Illustrated by Mike Deas ISBN 9780889956186 Binding Trade Paper Publisher Red Deer Press Inc Publication Date July 06, 2022 Size 203 x 254 mm
Did you know that
You can't keep a goldfish in a round goldfish bowl in Rome?
That you can't take a selfie while running with the bulls in Pamplona?
That you can't climb a tree in a Toronto city park?
This book is a look at some of the more curious rules and laws that have been created around the world over many years. Some of these rules and laws may make us laugh. Some may make us angry or frightened for the people they influence. All of these rules and laws will make us think. How did they come to be? How can they be changed?
With numerous sidebars presenting historical information, quizzes after each of the four sections, and ideas throughout for discussion and response activities, this is an active, well-researched illustrated book that shines a bright light on our world and its human workings. The book unfolds in four sections, outlining
- "People Problems" (everyday life; family; animals; food; fashion),
- "Sports Zone" (soccer; baseball; hockey; basketball; more sports),
- "Entertainment" (books and media; television and film; music and dance; technology), and
- "Kid Concerns" (school; toys; outdoor fun).
This new book from acclaimed author Heather Camlot might just be the start of a young reader's passion for governance and social justice.
Heather Camlot is the award-winning author of Clutch, The Other Side, and What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? A journalist for more than 20 years, Heather follows the rules of writing, editing, and translating, but has been known to break them every so often. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family.
Mike Deas has worked as a concept artist, texture artist, and art lead in the video game industry, and has illustrated award-winning graphic novels and picture books. Mike lives with his family on sunny Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, where he tries to follow the rules and color between the lines.
"Most of the rules are strange and humorous, like Winnie the Pooh being too indecently attired for a Polish town to consider as a playground mascot. Some are unexpected and heartwarming, like the Swiss rule about owning two guinea pigs instead of one, in deference to their being social animals. Others are horrifying — rules permitting the execution of dissenting journalists — or nonsensical, like the regulation bikini bottoms the women's Norwegian beach handball team must wear while the men's team wears shorts. Heather Camlot inserts her opinions, with phrases like "Ugh" and "Who thinks this stuff up?" but most readers will come to the same conclusions regardless.
"Camlot's glossary allows readers to distinguish between decrees, legislation, ordinances, policies and regulations. She encourages critical thinking through the "What Can I Do?" exercises. Some laws may compel readers to do research, like looking up the the dance video to Pharrell Williams's "Happy" that merited the young Iranian creators sentences of imprisonment and lashes. Above all, Camlot exhorts readers to question, change and create laws by giving them advocacy tools.
"Mike Deas' spot and half-page, comic-style illustrations liven the book. His expressive people and animals in dynamic poses are finished in black ink and brushed with black watercolor.
"Camlot succeeds in creating a quick, compelling miscellany that will inform and entertain preteen readers. It may even inspire future rule-shapers."
— Canadian Children's Book News
"True to its purpose, the book is indeed a fun read. A book filled with facts and trivia. There are a lot of weird but interesting laws unheard of and unthinkable, that I did not expect existed. The format of the book fits the style and genre the author wants to establish. Unorthodox and quirky, it clearly intends to not just give information, but amuse. . . An enjoyable read. I reacted with "oohs" and "aahs" and even a good laugh, on some laws as I read."