cover image One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters

One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters

Lola M. Schaefer, illus. by Jessica Meserve. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-3760-3

Out in his backyard, Spencer can be a lot of things: tall as a giraffe (with help from a ladder) or loud as an elephant (provided he has two metal trash cans to bang). Strong, fast, messy, wild—Spencer has those qualities and more within him. But the big question is, can Spencer be gentle when Mom and Dad bring home a new sibling? This is more of an extended rhetorical question than a story; it recognizes—celebrates, really—kids’ more rambunctious, free-spirited tendencies, while demonstrating that those same attributes aren’t mutually exclusive from tenderness, when it’s called for. Schaefer (Just One Bite) wisely invites audience participation by never identifying the animals that complete Spencer’s many similes, letting images of the creatures provide the answers, rebus-style. Meserve’s (Can Anybody Hear Me?) bold digital drawings are a big plus: she gives Spencer an energetic, devil-may-care intensity that will feel instantly familiar to both kids and parents, and Spencer’s expansive, slightly wild backyard, with its climbing trees, meadow, and mud hole, will be the envy of all ages. Ages 2–5. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)