cover image Dogs Don't Eat Jam and Other Things Big Kids Know

Dogs Don't Eat Jam and Other Things Big Kids Know

Sarah Tsiang, illus. by Qin Leng. Annick (Firefly, dist.), $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55451-360-4

"As your older sister, I'm here to help. I've put together this handy guide to life." So opens this peppy, if slightly overlong primer by the creators of A Flock of Shoes, which reveals everything that a newborn has to look forward to. The big sister narrator proudly takes credit for some things (as first-born, she gave their parents a "promotion" from Wanda and Bob to Mom and Dad), and praises her brother, as well ("Before you, I was just me. Now I'm a big sister.... So see? You've done something great already"). With hints of Ross Macdonald and LeUyen Pham, Leng's mixed-media art creates lively scenes of domestic bliss (and drama), though the use of a Comic Sans%E2%80%93like font makes the book feel dated out of the gate. Though the girl has a tendency to meander, her brassy, know-it-all delivery injects the story with humor ("You might have some trouble with Mom and Dad. I did when they were in their bossy stage"), and keeps it from falling into overly earnest territory. Ages 3%E2%80%936. (Nov.)