I Hate Everyone
"You Don't Love Me!" is the theme of Ilana Kurshan's Biblical commentary, Torah Sparks, for the weekly portion Haazinu, September 18, 2021, in which she mentions my picture book, I HATE EVERYONE.
<And then one day, in the midst of a tantrum, I sat down quietly beside her and began reading her a picture book called I Hate Everyone by Naomi Danis. The book is about a girl who throws a tantrum at her own birthday party, insisting that she hates everyone around her and doesn't want them to look at her. But she doesn't want them to look away, either, and finally she realizes that even though she keeps telling everyone that she hates them, she loves them all the while, deep down inside. My daughter was captivated by the scowling girl on the cover with her arms crossed in fury – the same girl who manages, by the end of the book, to turn her lips up in a smile. Just after we turned that last page, my daughter looked into my eyes and told me that deep down she knows I love her, and she loves me. Since then we have read this book countless times. I learned to reach for it every time she fell apart, and soon I didn't have to read it anymore – the mere sight of the book would calm her down, and she'd pull herself up into a sitting position and begin "reading" it to herself, turning the pages intently until she reached the last page and her scowl, too, had turned into a smile. I realized the book was more than just a story; it bore witness to my love for her, and to our special connection. It was, in this sense, her Shirat Haazinu.>
illustrated by Cinta Arribas
(Pow! Kids Books, 2018)
Best of the Year Lists
I HATE EVERYONE made it into THREE of School Librarian Journal blogger and librarian Elizabeth Bird's 31 lists of chidlren's books for December 2018.
<<Come here you sweet little weirdo book! You unapologetic charmer. Yeah, it's not going to go down well with parents that have a strict policy on the "h-word", that's true. But Danis is funny and the book shows that. Kids love it because of the contradictions. You can't top a kid who says not to look at her and then dumps a full bowl of Cheetos on her head in an effort to get attention. A hoot.>>
<<Already made a nice appearance on the funny picture books list, but please make no mistake when I tell you that it's a strange little buggy. First off, using the word "Hate" not just in the title but repeatedly in the text is normally considered a real no-no by publishers. Some parents, after all, avoid the word like the plague. Its got guts, this book. To those nervous parents, I should report that I've read this to my own kids multiple times and neither the seven nor the four-year-old have ever used the word once. So it doesn't have some magical properties that will turn your children rude. Phew!>>
And finally BEST BELOVED PICTURE BOOKS. <<The titles closest to the heart of the children's book community.>>
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Jemima Shafei-Ongu Writer (Australia) on Facebook
<<Once in a while, a wonderfully written book comes along that makes you laugh and relate and learn and love all at the same time. Naomi Danis's I Hate Everyone (illustrated marvellously by Cinta Arribas) captures the roller coaster of emotions that is so often experienced by young children (and all of us, really). Yet, with therapeutic skill and understanding, along with creative talent, Danis so respectfully demonstrates the power of relational attachment that parents can bring to a young person's emotionally difficult experiences, to support growth and learning. This is SO one of my favourite books.>>