cover image Do I Have to Take Violet?

Do I Have to Take Violet?

Sucie Stevenson. Dodd Mead, $0 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-396-08921-6

On the strength of the illustrations alone, Stevenson's first solo effort is buoyant and appealing, full of adorable, toddler-size observations about siblings and friendship. Violet's song""Spoon-a-looney . . . spooney-tooney''accompanied by spoon-banging-on-pots instrumentals, has driven Mama to distraction. Elly, the older sister who wants to take a bike ride ``BY MYSELF,'' gets roped into taking Violet for a walk. First she thinks of all the things she'd rather do alone. Then she and Violet play on rocks by the seashore, make seaweed soup and set a beautiful shell-laden table, complete with a fabulous, if inedible, feast. Mama's call to lunch starts them home again, but Elly promises that when she goes to the rocks again, she'll take Violet. The text is as breezy as sea air; the pictures show a world where crabs become lovely earrings, and where a task as boring as caring for a little sister results in a day to celebrate. Ages 4-8. (April)