From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K?Ellen is not sure she likes her new baby brother. As in Ellen and Penguin (Candlewick, 1993) she attributes her own feelings to her stuffed toy, allowing her to work through her jealousy more easily. Vulliamy does a good job of letting pictures tell the story. When Ellen can't sleep, for example, she walks Penguin around, patting his back. The illustration shows her mother walking and patting the baby at the same time, clearly implying that Ellen wishes her mother were holding her instead. After baby's presence ruins their fun on several occasions, Mom asks Ellen to try and cheer him up. When she uses Penguin to entertain him, he laughs and Ellen and Penguin finally agree "...that new baby brothers weren't so bad after all." Appealing watercolors help enliven the simple story. As the little girl's face shows anger or delight, Penguin's expressions also change subtly to match hers. The depictions of Ellen and her mother are less successful, as they have nearly identical faces and expressions. In one scene they look more like sisters than parent and child. Though not as engaging as Martin Waddell's When the Teddy Bears Came (Candlewick, 1995) or Jane Cutler's Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies (Scholastic, 1993), this is a warm and pleasant picture book on a popular topic.?Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3^-5. Ellen and her stuffed animal friend, Penguin, are ambivalent about her new baby brother, who gets a lot of Mommy's attention as well as Ellen's old mobile with the woolly lambs. One day, though, the baby starts to cry, and Mommy asks Ellen to cheer him up. When Ellen and Penguin discover that they can make the baby laugh, they decide that he isn't too bad after all. It's an old story and maybe a bit more optimistic than realistic, but Vulliamy's charming watercolor illustrations give this picture book fresh appeal, particularly for children familiar with Ellen and Penguin
(1993). Carolyn Phelan