cover image Shhh!


Valeri Gorbachev. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25429-1

With a refreshing take on sibling relationships, Gorbachev (What's the Big Idea, Molly?) celebrates not only a child's imagination but also his love and protective older brother mentality. "When my baby brother sleeps, I am very quiet," announces the book's hero, shown wearing a cowboy hat and tiptoeing past his brother's room. "Please stop laughing," he says to a clown, seen juggling beach balls in a circus ring, before the boy proceeds to bravely shush warring knights, a tiger, and even a train. Using engaging paintings and minimal text, Gorbachev sensitively zeroes in on the brother's emotions, especially when the baby wakes up, and both their smiles are full of joy. The remainder of the book includes the same characters seen before, revealed to be toys that the boy enthusiastically%E2%80%94and loudly%E2%80%94plays with ("And I am jumping and shouting and singing again!"). The toys are not generic plastic, but old-fashioned, well-loved playthings, so the images move easily between the book's make-believe and realistic scenes. Gorbachev's tenderhearted message is clear: good things come to those who wait for naptime to be over. Ages 3%E2%80%935. (Sept.)