cover image Arthur's Baby

Arthur's Baby

Marc Tolon Brown. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-11123-2

Arthur is plainly worried about the new baby expected at his house. His friends offer plenty of advice: ""Better get some earplugs,'' says one. ``Forget about playing after school,'' says another. Arthur's plucky kid sister D. W. is delighted. ``Arthur,'' she crows, ``doesn't know beans about babies.'' While D. W. learns how to diaper and helps her mother pack for the hospital, Arthur keeps his distanceeven after baby Kate arrives. ``I'd rather look,'' says he. One day, D. W. invites her friends to watch her expertly feed Kate, but the baby begins to cry. No amount of bouncing or kissing will make her stopuntil Arthur steps in and burps her. Arthur looks quite vulnerable in Brown's illustrationsthe young aardvark isn't actually protesting the baby's presence, but he is realistically wary of her. Clever and appealing details (a photo album with baby pictures of D. W. and Arthur is a real treat) fill this charming addition to the series. Ages 4-8. (November)