cover image Big Brother Mike

Big Brother Mike

Dan Yaccarino. Hyperion Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-329-0

``I just know my big brother Mike doesn't like me,'' laments the narrator of this spunky first book. Here's why: Mike always grabs the prize out of the cereal box, hogs the remote control when the two watch TV and pushes his younger sibling too high on the swings. But, recalls the little fellow, there are times when Mike has been nice to him: he helped him bury his hamster when it died, supported him when he was picked on by some older kids and even let him clean out his bird cage. Reassured, the youngster concludes that ``my big brother likes me after all.'' But a flip of the page reveals that Mike is still Mike. It's fitting that the art delivers the punch line, for far more distinctive than Yaccarino's passable text are his sportive, highly stylized gouache illustrations. The brothers' facetiously disproportional appearances defy those of conventional picture book characters: Mike is coiffed with a luminous red pompadour, while his broader-faced brother's eyes are hidden behind oversized, opaque eyeglasses. Shades of rust, blue and green make their own bold statement in this visually offbeat take on sibling rivalry. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)