"Grammar Don't Matter!" I Yam A Donkey by Cece Bell
.. . DID YOU SAY, "I YAM A DONKEY?"
THE PROPER WAY IS TO SAY THAT IS "I AM A DONKEY."
YOU IS A DONKEY, TOO?" SNORTS DONKEY. "YOU IS A FUNNY-LOOKING DONKEY."
A pedantic sweet potato in pince nez spectacles should've known better when he takes on the task of instructing a toothy donkey in proper English usage.
"NO, I AM A YAM. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO SAID 'I AM A DONKEY.'"
The grammarian yam is going nowhere fast with this linguistic lesson. The donkey insists on hearing "I yam" and "I am" as the same. Furthermore, he has no apparent familiarity with the conjugation of the verb "to be."
"YOU IS SILLY!"
But a good grammarian never gives up! Yam proceeds through the conjugation: I AM...YOU ARE, SHE IS....
The argument begins to draw a crowd: "Grammar fight!" Beet yells to a carrot and three green beans.
Beet explains that while Donkey IS a critter, he, Green Beans and Carrot ARE vegetables. Donkey gets a message, but not the one Yam intended.
"OH! YOU IS LUNCH!"
The lesson ends in a not-exactly-unexpected MUNCH and CRUNCH, in Cece Bell's newest, I Yam a Donkey! (Houghton Mifflin Clarion Books, 2015), which just goes to show that... well..., um... er.... "Don't get into a grammatical dispute with a donkey if you are a YAM?" Not a whole lot of linguistic information gets imparted here, but this book offers comic characters and a super silly slice of wordplay about a minor point of pronunciation of "I am"..., and gives Newbery Honor author Bell a chance to play around with words and the painful point that some arguments are futile in the face of serious issues, like how a vegetable should dispute with a large, big-molared herbivore.... Very discretely and from a safe distance?
Cece Bell is also the author and illustrator of the award-winning El Deafo, Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover (Candlewick Sparks), and Tom Angleberger's Crankee Doodle (see review here.)