Born Yesterday: The Diary of a Young Journalist

James Solheim, Author, Simon James, Illustrator , illus. by Simon James. Philomel $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25155-9

As fake memoirs go, this one is a hoot, with Solheim (It's Disgusting—and We Ate It! ) and James (Baby Brains ) adopting the voice of a precocious infant diarist observing his newly discovered world. The narrator is a kinder, gentler version of The Family Guy 's Stewie Griffin: “If I'd known I was going to be born in public, I'd at least have put on a tank top,” he writes. Eight months later, he confidently notes, “Finally—I have it figured out. Some things are noses, some are taxicabs, and some are Belgians.” But most important (both for the story and for the battered egos of readers with new brothers or sisters) the narrator has figured out who's the big Kahuna in the house—and it's not Mom or Dad. Describing his kindergarten-age sister as “some kind of monkey-bar superstar or something,” he also scribbles: “Note to myself: Imitate that girl. Just imitate her.” James's reportorial watercolor-and-ink cartoons make terrific visual punctuation; he never overplays the jokes, and he may well convince readers that there actually are deep, incisive thoughts lurking behind their new sibling's pudgy, pacifier-sucking face. Ages 3–5. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
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