i don’t care
Julie Fogliano self-portrait

“i really don’t care what you think of my hair… or my eyes or my toes or my nose

i really don’t care what you think of my boots…or if you don’t like my clothes….

i really don’t care what you think about that

i really don’t care at all…”

Two friends share the little things that set them apart, what makes each of them unique: their eyes and nose. Their boots and clothes. Just when it appears the two are at odds with each other, they begin to celebrate what connects them. They don’t really care about how they look or dress or other surface things. They care about the deeper things—what truly bonds them. Love and acceptance—the heart of true friendship.

I Don't Care PB pages
I DON’T CARE by Julie Fogliano/Illustrated by Mollie Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal

“Mostly I care that you’re you and I’m me,
and I care that we’re us,
and I care that we’re we.”

Bestselling children’s book author Julie Fogliano writes a lively, rhythmic read-aloud with perfect cadence and rhyme. She explores the differences and similarities in the surface qualities of friendship before defining what really matters between true friends. All ages will connect with this heart-warming, humorous story of friendship.

Julie Fogliano is a star on the Storyteller Stage for Children. She’s the recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, a two-time Horn Book Award Honoree, and the Claudia Lewis award for poetry. Her talent is shared world-wide with her books translated into more than 10 languages!

Currently, Julie lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and three children. “When she’s not folding laundry or wondering what to make for dinner, she is staring out the window waiting for a book idea to fly by.”

Visit Julie Fogliano: https://juliefogliano.com/

Follow Julie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/oneredhen

Catch her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliefogliano/?hl=en

I Don’t Care is delightfully illustrated by two recent Caldecott Honorees who are also friends—Mollie Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal. From the start, Mollie and Juana were of like minds when it came to collaboration—from deciding the media to assigning which character each would create to defining how they’d work together on scenery and details. Their graphite illustrations using color overlays of only teal and yellow—one for each character—blended their artist styles into a perfect fit. What mattered to them most was what was best for the book.

Mollie Idle is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Flora and the Flamingo series. Before beginning her career in picture book illustration, Mollie worked as a DreamWorks Feature Animation artist. When Mollie was little, she discovered the way “pictures in stories spoke” to her. She says, “Now that I’m grown, I make pictures and stories that speak for me.” She resides in Arizona, spending her time “with a pencil in one hand and a cup of espresso in the other—scribbling away on her next book!”

Visit Mollie Idle at: http://www.idleillustration.com/

Mollie Idle, illustrator

Juana Martinez-Neal, illustrator

Juana Martinez-Neal is the author-illustrator of the 2019 Caldecott Honor book Alma and How She Got Her Name as well the illustrator of several other award-winning books. This talented artist was named to the International Board on Books for Young People Honor List and awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. Born in Lima, Peru, Juana now lives within the Eastern Connecticut woods with her husband, three children and two dogs.

Visit Juana Martinez-Neal at: https://juanamartinezneal.com/

I Don’t Care is honored with multiple Starred Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews: “…Fogliano’s deftly rhymed verses, which never miss a beat in their cadence or in their emotional resonance, help readers realize that while the friends don’t care about surface matters like appearance, attire, or possessions, they do care about each other. Compositionally, they end up occupying shared space on the spreads and will doubtlessly take up residence in readers’ hearts, too….”

School Library Journal: “A psychologically acute tally of friendship’s most solid foundations, worth sharing with audiences large or small and tailor-made for reading aloud.”

Booklist: Fogliano’s sprightly, rhythmic text sets a fun tone for exploring what really matters in friendship. While effective picture books grow from the combining of words and images, this book takes the collaboration a step further by drawing on the talents of real-life best friends and Caldecott honorees Idle and Martinez-Neal. . . . The result is a warm, loving celebration of how to be a friend, and a successful artistic experiment.”

Treat yourself and others to this rhythmic, rhyming text celebrating the heart of friendship: https://holidayhouse.com/book/i-dont-care/


It’s no surprise that the secret to a long, happy life is connection with others—real connections. Face-to-face, not in-your-face. Friendships that go beyond the “Hello. How are you?”  “I’m fine. Goodbye.” That move into acceptance and appreciation. Into celebrating “…we’re always…and…we’re two…we’re friends and…we’re true.” Somewhere beyond the fear of Covid and the ease of online, there must be a way to make time for friendship. To satisfy the longing within each of us for real connection. A communion, of sorts, within humanity. A time spent with friends who let the “me” not outshine the “we.”

I DON'T CARE illustration

More of what you love


“Connor Crowe loved his parents.
He loved his dog.
He even loved his sister.
But he loved one thing most of all . . .
      his tablet.”
Children latch on to things that sparkle, bing, and move, especially “techie toys” like smartphones, tablets and video games. Sometimes it’s hard to let go. Howard Pearlstein’s new book tells a timely story of a young boy’s obsession with his tablet. Young Connor loves playing on it so much that one night, he wishes he never had to let it go.

read more


“How deep it goes
How strong it flows
How sweet it sounds
How much it gives
How selfless it is
How forever it lasts…”

Something children around the world have in common is an insatiable curiosity. Alyssa Londoño’s poignant story brings to life an inquisitive child’s quest to find out if love is real and where it comes from. While the child explores the world around her, she discovers that love is not just one thing, but is everywhere. In friendship. In time with family. In everyday remarkable things.

read more

Join the conversation


  1. Patricia Tilton

    What a beautiful message for children. It’s all about friendship and loving the differences in each other. I love the concept and the wonderful illustrations!

  2. Jilanne Hoffmann

    I love this book! Brilliant concept and execution! But then, I love everything that Julie Fogliano writes, and having two fabulous illustrators for this book is just phenomenal.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Marsha Elyn Wright

Bursts of belly-laughs. Raised eye-brows. Teary trickles. Heart tugs. Grumbly mutters and more. Good storytelling sparks emotions and memories in us. It connects cultures and generations. The best words create melodies on a page we can sing reading aloud. These story songs expand, challenge, affirm, and delight us. My hope is that my storytelling creates this magic for you.


Professional Organizations

Share This
%d bloggers like this: