Please, Louise!

Frieda Wishinsky, Author, Marie-Louise Gay, Illustrator , illus. by Marie-Louise Gay. Groundwood $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88899-796-8

Wishinsky (Each One Special ) and Gay (the Stella books) serve up an incisive slice-of-life tale about a high-energy girl and her more sedate older brother. Wild-haired Louise refuses to leave Jake alone: she dances into his room, plays with his toys and bounces on his bed, then stubbornly refuses to go away. Some of Gay’s wryest spreads illustrate the boy’s doorway in cross-section, the closed door a vertical line down the page, Jake leaning against it in fury while Louise pummels it with her fists or stands back, operatically invading Jake’s space with “Row, row, row your boat.” Nothing the beleaguered boy does can shake his sister, not even removing himself to the yard. After wishing his noisy sister were a dog, Jake notices that Louise has disappeared. He searches for her in vain—and then a dog bounds toward him and he pleads, “Please, Louise. Don’t be a dog…. Be my little sister again.” He worries for naught: Louise reappears, riding on a scooter with a new friend, and instructs Jake to go away. That’s just fine by Jake, who gleefully turns a cartwheel (“Okay! I’m going!”). In a final, fetching exchange Louise promptly returns, and the two—waving at each other from opposite sides of the page—amiably announce, “See you later.” Snappy dialogue and whimsical watercolor, pencil and collage art capture Jake and Louise’s distinct personalities as well as their very recognizable sibling relationship. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
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