cover image The Baby Sister

The Baby Sister

Tomie dePaola. Putnam Publishing Group, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22908-4

Reaching deep into the treasured memories of his own childhood, dePaola pulls out a plum. Little Tommy eagerly anticipates the arrival of a new sibling, and prays nightly for ""a baby sister with a red ribbon in her hair."" Household preparations proceed on course until a slight detour knocks Tommy for a loop-the arrival of his stern Italian nana instead of beloved Aunt Nell to care for him while his mother is in the hospital. This added dimension lifts the plot beyond the garden-variety ""new baby in the house"" scenario, and under dePaola's sure, sensitive direction, a richly textured tale unfolds. The sympathetic fellow and his big, extended family are prime fodder for dePaola's artistic talent, too-with their well-known simplicity of line and cheerful palette, dePaola's illustrations radiate warmth and affection. Don't miss the author photo on the jacket cover for a glimpse of the real beribboned sister. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)