cover image What a Good Big Brother!

What a Good Big Brother!

Diane Wright Landolf, , illus. by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. . Random, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-84258-0

Every time Cameron's infant sister cries, his parents seem to have an answer: she's wet, she's hungry, she's tired. And once Cameron knows the problem, he's eager to help out. But Cameron really earns his stripes—and Sadie's first smile—when he's able to soothe a mysterious crying jag after his parents have run out of ideas. Landolf's (Hog and Dog ) simple, descriptive writing should go a long way in alleviating—at least momentarily—the anxieties of newly minted sibling rivalry. Johnson and Fancher (Amazing Peace ) offer a stunning visual counterpoint with their most luxuriant work to date. It's not entirely successful; the highly wrought backgrounds, created from intricately layered patterns, words and tiny drawings, add little emotional depth. But the team's framing and characterizations are faultless, and their use of life-size-and-larger scale is riveting. If readers aren't distracted by what amounts to weird wallpaper, they'll feel immersed in the intimacy, stress and rewards of tending a newborn. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)