From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—"When you're a baby, you are in a crib and not in school," according to a worldly wise big sister, who reads from a book she has written for her new sibling. She itemizes a long list of things that babies cannot do, including play with her toys, sit in a car "like a normal person," or "have ANY pillows on your bed." Although she tends to focus on the negatives, in the end the unnamed protagonist admits that babies have some uses. She tells her brother that babies are "good at hugging" and "people smile at you because you're so small." She also describes what life will be like when he gets bigger, looking forward to the day when they will "laugh and point at pictures of you in the olden days when you were a baby." The comical cartoons subtly convey the love that the rosy-cheeked girl feels for her round, placid sibling despite his limited abilities. The text and illustrations are scattered across each page in varying patterns. Heap uses acrylic paint, crayon, and felt-tip pen in a pleasing palette of pinks, blues, and yellows to enhance the story with childlike charm. This amusing title could be paired with Amy Schwartz's humorous Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner
(Scholastic, 1991). For a more poignant look at sibling relationships, young readers might prefer Shirley Hughes's Annie Rose Is My Little Sister
(Candlewick, 2003).—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* There are lots of books about kids and the babies they must endure, teach, and love, but few get the interaction down as perfectly as this marvelous melding of knowing observations and funny, sunny, on-the-money art. The narrator, a little blonde girl, has a long list of things that babies can't do. Go to school? No--stuck in a crib. Eat normal food? No--yucky baby food. Thinking of things that are inappropriate for babies reminds the girl of the many ways in which she's superior: babies don't have any real friends, but she has lots. The tall format offers plenty of room for the sweet, saucy, child-appealing watercolors, some looking as though they were created by the child herself; certainly the lines and squiggles on a few of the pages enhance that feel. Lists also cleverly adorn many of the pages, with headings such as "Things Babies Do That Are Illegal" (poop on the carpet). But in a heartwarming ending, Sister lists things that are nice about being a baby (people don't tell you to stop being a baby because you are one) and envisions the happy day when her brother gets big enough to follow her around, learn from her, and play with her friends (sometimes). With lots to look at, think about, and giggle at, this book will get many readings. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved