Big Brothers Don't Take Naps

Louise Borden, illus. by Emma Dodd. S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-5503-0
Young Nick adores his big brother—and what's not to like? When it comes to older siblings, James is a Platonic ideal: confident, competent (he can dial his grandparents' phone number all by himself), infinitely patient, and inclusive. He mentors Nick (teaching him to count backward so they can pretend they're rocket ships), reads to him, shows him animal pictures online, and, as Borden (The Lost-and-Found Tooth) writes, James "always stops and waits for me to catch up. Every time." But most important, James helps Nick come to terms with a big and fast approaching "surprise"—the arrival of a baby sister—by telling him that he'll be joining the brotherhood of big brothers, whose member privileges include not taking naps. Dodd (I Don't Want a Cool Cat!) excels at articulating a preschooler's point of view—her bold black outlines, bright preschool palette, and roundheaded characters are the essence of eager earnestness and unalloyed love. If older brother James is perhaps too understanding, the story remains a tender portrait of sibling affection. Ages 3–7. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
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