From Publishers Weekly
A girl burdened with a bratty big brother tries to do something, anything, better than he can. "The text rings true with the authentic battling words of childhood spats," said PW. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-Featuring an obnoxious, freckle-faced, bespectacled boy and a comforting, tale-telling grandmother, this autobiographical story is as satisfying as a warm slice of apple pie. Patricia can't quite understand how anyone could possibly like her older brother Richard. Whether picking blackberries or eating raw rhubarb, he always manages to outdo her, rubbing it in with one of his "extra-rotten, weasel-eyed, greeny-toothed grins." When their Bubbie teaches Patricia to wish on a falling star, she knows just what to ask for. The next day her wish comes true; although dizzy, she remains on the carnival merry-go-round longer than Richard. Her nemesis turns into her hero, however, when she takes a spill and he carries her home. This warm-hearted look at a typical family relationship will strike a familiar chord with siblings of all ages. The endless "can so/cannot" arguments and the girl's total exasperation make the dialogue entertaining and realistic. Bubbie's musings are more poetic, adding a sense of wonder to the everyday tone of the text. Polacco's exuberant illustrations, done in marking pens and pencil, are filled with warmth and humor. Pointing angrily at one another or quietly cuddling against Bubbie's heart, the characters are carefully posed to reflect the story's varying moods. Barnyard animals provide an amusing backdrop to the children's antics, puckering their faces at the sour rhubarb and smiling sweetly at a tender moment. Black-and-white photographs of Patricia and Richie at different ages are scattered across the endpapers, adding the final touch to this endearing reminiscence. Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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