cover image New Baby

New Baby

Emily Arnold McCully. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024130-8

McCully's fourth wordless picture book about the mouse family both celebrates the excitement of a baby's arrival and acknowledges the confusion such an event can prompt for the newly usurped youngest sibling. While its brothers and sisters crowd 'round to see the baby, the littlest mouse hangs back. In a bid for attention, it reverts to babyish behaviorwhich includes hopping into the carriage and curling up beside the newborn. This last action sparks understanding and a cuddle from mother; there is love enough for all. Once again, McCully captures the complex, delicate interplay of family emotions. The little mouse's sudden, temporary loneliness is balanced by the happy fuss made by both visiting grandmothers and by the background anticstag, headstands, bubble-blowing and othersof the older mouse siblings. Pastel pinks and greens create the freshly washed sparkle of spring throughout. Ages 3-6. (March)