cover image Brobarians


Lindsay Ward. Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5039-4167-0

Otto and his younger brother, Iggy, share a love for dressing up like fearsome Norse warriors: Otto has a horned Viking hat, Iggy wears a mop wig and necktie-as-sash, and both sport rippling towel capes. But their marauding friendship is on the rocks, thanks to an incident involving a broken cookie jar, and the two are now engaged in a battle for territorial supremacy of the backyard. Their tussling eventually brings down the wrath of Mamabarian, and a reconciliation is forged at bath time. Ward (Rosco vs. the Baby) makes her mock-heroic scenes out of cut-paper collage decorated with crayon and pencil, echoing the homemade stylings of the siblings’ costumes. But it’s her text, written with florid tale-as-old-as-time bravura, that delivers the real treat. Every spread is packed with vocabulary that cries out for stentorian solemnity: “A master of the sword,” she writes of Iggy, “he plundered wondrous treasures, conquered magical beasts, and challenged colossal monsters. Many sought his counsel.” As readalouds go, it’s pretty epic. Ages 3–7. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Mar.)