From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—The boy narrating this expertly rhymed story is reluctant to give up the throne of being an only child. He tells his new sibling, "I was the star,/the prize,/the king…. But you have ruined/everything." Donning his gold crown (reminiscent of Max in Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are
), he watches with growing frustration as the cherubic infant is coddled by his parents and grandparents and takes over his possessions. When the baby gnaws on his catcher's mitt, big brother finally breaks down and has a tantrum. But instead of punishing him with a time-out, Mama patiently explains that the baby can't do much now, but the boy has grown so much and can do many things. He proudly lists all the chores he can do, which garners appropriate praise from his family. Reassured that he is still loved, the boy decides "...maybe I can share my throne." McPhail's charming illustrations perfectly capture the narrator's mood in his facial expressions and body language. Ashman's verses, lettered in a child-friendly font that varies in size, are perfect for reading aloud. In the crowded field of new-baby books, this one's a keeper. Pair it with Kevin Henkes's Julius, the Baby of the World
(HarperCollins, 1990) for a sibling-themed storytime.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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Ashman gives the all-too-familiar story about a new baby in the family a humorous slant by having the protagonist speak directly to his new rival. The older sibling suffers poor-me pangs and laments that before you came everything was better. When the baby destroys everything in his wake, the narrator throws a fit and is surprised when his mother tells him it’s okay. (He expected a long time-out.) With savvy psychology, Mom contrasts the baby’s abilities with the boy’s, who then sees the upside of being a big brother. McPhail’s colorful paintings capture the very real up-and-down emotions of accepting a sibling. The older brother, who is pictured throughout wearing a crown, is willing, at the end, to share his throne. For the most part, the rhymes work well, with the punchy cadence of the verse making this book a solid read-aloud. Preschool-Grade 1. --Patricia Austin