cover image My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

Patricia Polacco. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-671-72751-2

Younger siblings, take heart: Polacco's ( Rechenka's Eggs ; Chicken Sunday ) chipper new picture book offers solace to anyone encumbered with a bratty big brother. Patricia is continually aggravated by her older brother, who has ``orange hair that was like wire; he was covered in freckles and looked like a weasel with glasses.'' But worst of all, he can do most anything better than his sister and is fond of saying, ``I'm four years older than you . . . . Always have been and always will be.'' After several unsuccessful tries, Patricia's most daring attempt to best her brother leads her to see him in a new light. Polacco's flair for storytelling shines in this tale filled to the brim with a family's anecdotes. The text rings true with the authentic battling words of childhood spats. Breezy, zestfully hued marking-pen-and-pencil artwork affords Polacco's characters--familiar figures from some of the author/artist's other titles--an almostirrepressible energy. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)