cover image But I Wanted a Baby Brother!

But I Wanted a Baby Brother!

Kate Feiffer, , illus. by Diane Goode. . S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-3941-2

When Oliver gets a baby sister instead of a brother, he's the only one who realizes that a mistake has been made. “In fact, everyone looked very happy, as if there had been no mistake at all,” writes Feiffer, previously paired with Goode on My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life . Taking matters into his own hands, Oliver tries to trade bald, unflappable Julie away for friends' baby brothers, and even braves the toxic-smelling baby-changing room at the zoo (“This is where you go to change your girl baby for a boy baby,” he explains), only to be thwarted by his growing attachment. The text offers a string of mildly funny incidents on its way to an expected ending, but Goode's wry, fluid watercolor cartooning presents a terrifically expressive cast, especially Oliver, Julie, and their dog, Chaplin. Her ink lines are the very definition of verve, her sense of comic detailing is faultless (the changing room scene is particularly vivid), and her Lilly Pulitzer palette offers plenty of visual clues that a happy ending is on the way. Ages 4–8. (May)