cover image Albert’s ABCs: A Sibling Story

Albert’s ABCs: A Sibling Story

Henry Cole. Peachtree, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-68263-653-4

In simple words and phrases that stand in for the Roman alphabet’s 26 letters, Cole (Carina Felina) runs readers through a crocodilian duo’s ups and downs. It all kicks off on the verso with A, older kid “Albert,” playing with building blocks. On the recto, B, apparent younger sibling “Baxter,” turns red-faced “Crying” in a crib. Albert’s big googly eyes, alert snout, and tense green physique express a rich and wholly relatable psychology: Could the cause be “Diaper?” Yes, and it’s an “Easy Fix” for caregiver “Grandma,” who arrives with supplies in tow. Albert becomes increasingly “Irritated” during “Lunch,” sinking into the respite of Baxter’s “Nap”—“Oh... Peace. Quiet,” When the baby later “Stumbles” into Albert’s block tower, though, the older croc rises to the occasion, expressing genuine concern, and joining Grandma in proffering a smoochy, all-better “X.” Emotional equilibrium restored, the sibs share a little floor time before Baxter returns to the crib to “Zzzzz,” and Albert regards the snoozer with a mixture of affection and relief. A slight concept quickly proves page-turning in the experienced hands of Cole, whose fluid, digitally rendered vignettes are little gems of comedy and character. Ages 2–5. (Mar.)