From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—"My brother is really cool," boasts a young boy. On widely spaced lined paper, he writes of his older sibling's many attributes. Not only does he have cool ears and hair, but he also wears cool clothes. And he can score "FANTASTIC goals" in soccer, "run so FAST that...he can FLY!," "read HUNDREDS of books," and write "BRILLIANT stories." Browne's over-the-top, whimsical cartoon illustrations are the perfect foil for this child's exuberant praise of his sibling. Big brother's "cool" button is echoed in the many buttons containing accolades like "SUPER BROTHER!" and "He's GREAT!" on the endpapers. Big brother's artwork is so fine that the wolf he has drawn comes to life and frightens Red Riding Hood off the page. The bubble he blows fills a room, and he reads Browne's My Brother
in a chair constructed of books and "cool" sandaled feet. The author's fans will recognize his penchant for gorillas, and they will delight in the self-affirming ending when they turn the page after reading, "And guess what…." Cool!—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
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A little boy introduces his big brother, who looks no more than seven. But to the younger brother, the older one is coolness
personified. Big Brother runs fast, kicks soccer goals, skateboards, reads books, sings, dances, whistles, and even stands up to bullies twice his size. Only on the last double-page spread is the young narrator pictured, a smaller look-alike version of his idol, from "cool hair" right down to "cool sandals." Browne, the 2000 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, takes this universal theme of sibling idolatry and interprets it visually with economy and verve. Clean, colorful images of the boy stand out clearly, usually on white or notebook-paper-blue-striped backgrounds; occasionally they appear within more complex scenes, such as the picture of Big Brother climbing a building while King Kong looks on. Observant children will find plenty of intriguing details in the pictures, and even toddlers will take pleasure in watching this idealized big kid, competent, confident, and cool. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved