PreS-Gr 3?A little girl endures the jeers and taunts of her older brother?until he comes through for her when she needs him. High-spirited pictures of the rivalrous siblings in action belie the family caring beneath all the bickering. (Oct. 1994) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Younger siblings, take heart: Polacco's ( Rechenka's Eggs ; Chicken Sunday ) chipper new picture book offers solace to anyone encumbered with a bratty big brother. Patricia is continually aggravated by her older brother, who has ``orange hair that was like wire; he was covered in freckles and looked like a weasel with glasses.' But worst of all, he can do most anything better than his sister and is fond of saying, ``I'm four years older than you . . . . Always have been and always will be.' After several unsuccessful tries, Patricia's most daring attempt to best her brother leads her to see him in a new light. Polacco's flair for storytelling shines in this tale filled to the brim with a family's anecdotes. The text rings true with the authentic battling words of childhood spats. Breezy, zestfully hued marking-pen-and-pencil artwork affords Polacco's characters--familiar figures from some of the author/artist's other titles--an almostirrepressible energy. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Ages 5-8. Polacco's story of her childhood ri~valry with her brother Richard harks back to growing up with grandparents in Union City, Michigan, and catches competition at gut level. Her grandmother, Bubbie, whom readers will recognize from other Polacco books, doesn't seem to know how rotten Richard is. Polacco conveys the passionate intensity of conflict--trying to pick more berries, eat more rhubarb, and stay on the merry-go-round longer--as well as the abiding love beneath it. The figures of the children are intense and full of motion, and the facial expressions are beautifully accomplished. Surrounding it all are Babushka-clad Bubbie's comforting love and warm hugs. ~--Mary Harris Veeder
PreS-Gr 3-Featuring an obnoxious, freckle-faced, bespectacled boy and a comforting, tale-telling grandmother, this autobiographical story is as satisfying as a warm slice of apple pie. Patricia can't quite understand how anyone could possibly like her older brother Richard. Whether picking blackberries or eating raw rhubarb, he always manages to outdo her, rubbing it in with one of his ``extra-rotten, weasel-eyed, greeny-toothed grins.' When their Bubbie teaches Patricia to wish on a falling star, she knows just what to ask for. The next day her wish comes true; although dizzy, she remains on the carnival merry-go-round longer than Richard. Her nemesis turns into her hero, however, when she takes a spill and he carries her home. This warm-hearted look at a typical family relationship will strike a familiar chord with siblings of all ages. The endless ``can so/cannot' arguments and the girl's total exasperation make the dialogue entertaining and realistic. Bubbie's musings are more poetic, adding a sense of wonder to the everyday tone of the text. Polacco's exuberant illustrations, done in marking pens and pencil, are filled with warmth and humor. Pointing angrily at one another or quietly cuddling against Bubbie's heart, the characters are carefully posed to reflect the story's varying moods. Barnyard animals provide an amusing backdrop to the children's antics, puckering their faces at the sour rhubarb and smiling sweetly at a tender moment. Black-and-white photographs of Patricia and Richie at different ages are scattered across the endpapers, adding the final touch to this endearing reminiscence.- Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.