Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems

Kristine O'Connell George, Author, Nancy Carpenter, Illustrator
Kristine O'Connell George, illus. by Nancy Carpenter, Clarion, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-618-42842-7
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A likable fourth-grader shares her frustrations about her preschool-age sister, Emma, in candid narrative poems. Emma copies everything Jessica does, embarrasses her at her soccer game by wearing a boa and high heels ("I pretend I've never seen/ that kid ever before/ in my whole entire life"), and "decorates" her room with yarn. There are tender moments, genuinely conveyed in Carpenter's expressive pen-and-ink illustrations: "Emma cheats/ at board games/ and card games/ and still loses." The vignettes form such a vivid portrait of Emma and Jessica that readers may feel as if they personally know them—and a tense turn of events will have readers holding their breath until the reassuring conclusion. Ages 6–9. (Feb.)
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