cover image I'm Number One

I'm Number One

Michael Rosen, , illus. by Bob Graham. . Candlewick, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-4535-9

A windup soldier shows the other toys of the house who's boss in this light tale about dealing with bullies. Blowhard toy soldier A-One needs fellow playthings—Sally the doll, Maddy the duck and Sid the pig—to wind his key. But A-One berates each of them in turn, and, once he's full of energy, goes on to make fun of their assorted accessories (“ 'You look mad in your hat,' he said. And he made up a song, 'Maddy is a mad hat!' ”), while confiscating the items for his own. When the other toys show resiliency and have a gentle laugh at A-One's expense, he appreciates the humor, sparking an about-face. Children will also appreciate the quiet humor and easily find real-life parallels. Graham, previously partnered with Rosen on This Is Our House , introduces a cast of believable ragtag pals who play out their adventure under the bemused gaze of the family dog. Graham's clean lines, pastel hues, and dot-eyed faces work together to enliven this imaginative, child-friendly fantasy. Ages 3–up. (Dec.)