The Birth-Order Blues

Joan Drescher, Author Viking Children's Books $13.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-83621-5
A let's-discuss-this-issue book, Drescher's pedestrian offering may not stray far from the classroom shelf. Roving kid reporter Millicent Brown surveys the neighborhood kids to gauge their feelings about being the youngest, middle, oldest or only child. Speaking in dialogue balloons, the kids discourse on the pros and cons of their respective positions in the family. The responses tend toward the predictable: the oldest gets to stay up late, but is also expected ``to be so responsible!'' The middle child feels like ``the bologna hidden in a sandwich'' but also gets to ``be older and younger at the same time.'' The youngest opines that he has to be a bit of a ham to get attention; and the only child refutes the preconception that he's spoiled, stating simply that ``there isn't anyone else for my parents to pay attention to!'' Watercolor and pencil art is upbeat if not especially accomplished. The book's truthful, child-centered approach, however, turns didactic when Millicent begins to preach that ``everyone is different (and special!) and that's what makes families work.'' Ages 3-8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Children's
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