cover image Another Brother

Another Brother

Matthew Cordell. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-312-64324-9

Cordell’s (Trouble Gum) goofy line drawings of Davy the sheep and his dozen copycat younger brothers provide an entertaining counterpoint to his poker-faced narrative. When Davy’s parents, sitting in armchairs, dispense wisdom about copying—“It’s only a phase, Davy”—Cordell’s drawing makes it clear that sheep (at least this pair) don’t really fit into armchairs. Mom’s legs stick straight out in front of her, and Dad is slowly heading for the floor. A riotous sequence shows Davy’s brothers chorusing “no” back at him, burping when he burps, and singing “la-la-la” along with him when he sticks his hooves in his ears in frustration. The brothers eventually lose interest, and Davy gets lonely—but only until an even smaller copycat arrives: “When he banged his elbow in the bathroom, Davy yelled, ‘honkin’ plunger!’ From the next room came a little voice, ‘honkin’ plunger!’ ” Cordell’s sympathy lies entirely with Davy, and he’s in it for the laughs (he milks a lot of storytelling humor from the repetition of the 12 sheep’s names). To the extent that there’s a message, it’s that younger siblings are adoring, fickle, and not going anywhere. Ages 4–6. (Jan.)