Bye-Bye Baby Brother!

Sheena Dempsey. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6241-7
“It’s priceless,” goes the classic Charles Addams cartoon. “Normie’s building a rocket to shoot Pamela to the moon.” Dempsey, in her picture book debut, evokes a similar impulse in this displacement tale, although the mood and outcome are more benevolent. Ruby and her faithful dog, Rory, are miffed that baby Oliver is monopolizing Mommy’s time, and she imagines all kind of scenarios for ridding the household of him (“Maybe I could sell Oliver in a yard sale. If we give him a good wash, I bet someone will buy him”). When Ruby proposes a one-way trip to the moon for Oliver, her mother wisely suggests making it an imaginary outing for everyone—with Ruby as captain, of course. “Today, I really wished Oliver would disappear,” Ruby tells her mother after Oliver is down for the night. “But now... I think we should keep him a little bit longer.” Dempsey’s pretty, soft-line drawings and pastel palette may suggest a treacly experience, but she instead reveals emotional depth and a gentle but sure sense of visual humor. Ages 3–up. Agent: Penny Holroyde, Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 04/23/2013
Hardcover - 25 pages - 978-1-4063-3340-4
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