cover image Oh, Brother

Oh, Brother

Arthur Yorinks. Farrar Straus Giroux, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-374-35599-9

Washed ashore after a shipwreck, two brothers are left to fend for themselves in New York. The boys comfort one another in a way familiar to all brothers: ``You stink,'' says Milton; ``So do you,'' replies Morris. Their fortunes rise and fall in comically rapid succession until an old man takes them under his wing and teaches them his trade--tailoring. When their benefactor dies, the resourceful brothers disguise themselves as old men and claim to be the tailor's relatives; they manage to quell their squabbling long enough to build a substantial business. A wealthy patron takes the boys abroad and presents them at court, where they are recognized by their true parents, who had survived the shipwreck after all. Although the book is long on plot and relies heavily on fantastic coincidences, Yorinks's droll storytelling talents are perfectly matched by Egielski's broadly theatrical paintings. The rollercoaster series of events abounds with ironic humor in this stylish and satisfying work. All ages. (Oct.)