cover image What's So Bad About Being an Only Child?

What's So Bad About Being an Only Child?

Cari Best, , illus. by Sophie Blackall. . FSG/Kroupa, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-39943-6

Only childhood is one big downside, thinks Rosemary. For starters, her name is enormous (in full it is Rosemary Emma Angela Lynette Isabel Iris Malone) because as the only child, she has to be repository of all her overly doting relatives' favorite names. Her house is too “easy and quiet and organized,” writes Best (Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen ); she has no readymade playmates waiting at home, no one to share with, not even anyone to argue with. Blackall (Ruby's Wish ) gives Rosemary a wiry, willful body and dark, widespread eyes that burn with the unfairness of it all—she looks like a kewpie doll whose slogan is “This time, it's personal.” And like the best action heroes, she takes matters into her own hands, adopting a menagerie of animals to provide her with companionship. “Although she was still an only child,” affirms Best as Rosemary snuggles with a big dog, “she hardly ever felt like one.” Parents of singletons may feel like they're being set up for some major pet acquisitions, but kids should applaud this self-reliant, spunky heroine. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)