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My Brother Bert Hardcover – March 17, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pearson provides a suitably sunny setting for this light verse by the late acclaimed British poet, about a boy, Bert, who can't say no to any exotic pet. Among those hidden in his bedroom are a gorilla, a lion, pangolins (a kind of anteater) and "four Ostriches that deposit/ Their football eggs in his bedroom closet." Taking inspiration from the unnamed narrator, Pearson imagines that Bert's little sister puts herself in charge of the menagerie (ignoring the "No Girls Allowed" sign on his door) while Bert is out making another acquisition. As the lines posit potential for comic catastrophe—"If you think [a Gorilla's] not such a scare,/ What if it quarrels with [Bert's] Grizzly Bear?"—the pictures show the girl instigating that exact disaster. Fans of Pearson's Awful Aardvark series already know the illustrator can be a poet herself when it comes to choreographing mischief: there's dancing, a sing-along, species cross-dressing and even a pool party in the bathroom—all of which are quelled just in time for the unsuspecting Bert's return. The good-natured mayhem will propel readers to the final page. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)
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From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—This picture book brings Hughes's poem to life with good-natured, lively watercolor and pen-and-ink drawings. Observing that her brother's pet collection is getting out of hand, a girl sneaks into his room (past a hand-lettered sign on his door that reads "NO GIRLS ALLOWED") where she interacts with a gorilla, a grizzly bear, a lion, four ostriches, an aardvark, several pangolins, 50 bats, a platypus, an ocelot, and more. She foresees quarrels and dances among the beasts, which burst out into the hallway and "shake the house with their Rumpus!" All of the creatures are shooed back to the room before Bert, a bespectacled, bookish fellow, returns home (leading an elephant). The verses are buoyant and accessible and Pearson's busy animal-filled drawings call attention to whimsical details: when the pig-tailed heroine hastily restores order, she plants herself on the sofa with a book that readers will note is upside-down. This delightful picture book will appeal to a wide audience of young readers and also makes an excellent read-aloud. The poem is included in Hughes's Collected Poems for Children (Farrar, 2007), illustrated by Raymond Briggs.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); First Edition edition (April 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374399824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374399825
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,394,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bert was a funny kind of brother who developed an unusual collection. He was sitting in a chair with a cat overlooking his shoulder, a mouse on one knee and a bunny next to his knapsack getting ready to munch on a carrot beside it. Of course Bert was reading all kinds of books about animals. "Pets are the Hobby of my brother Bert. He used to go to school with a Mouse in his shirt." He collected animals like other boys collected marbles or Matchbox cars. His collection was growing, but he had a sign on his bedroom door that said "no girls allowed!"

There were loads of banana peels lying around and that made his sister even more curious than ever. She just had to see what was behind that door and when she did she got a HUGE surprise. Bert had a huge Gorilla in his room! "If you think that's really not such a scare, what if it quarrels with his Grizzly Bear?" The room was a big mess and there were all kinds of animals in that room that would be more at home in the wild or in a zoo. Ostriches, an Aardvark, Pangolins to Bats . . . what would she find in that room next?

The rhyming text and the very busy art work make this book explode with excitement and fun. This is one of those great books that generate excitement during circle or story time in a library, especially if the reader is expressive and lively. This book can be read alone, but would be much better read aloud. Oh my goodness, do I see a Platypus in the sink?
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