CriticasK-Gr 3-When Kristen's parents take a wrong turn on the way to the hospital and end up at the zoo, they can't seem to match up with the proper new baby. First, they bring home an alligator, then a seal, then a gorilla. Finally, Kristen rides over on her bike and finds the human infant. In addition to the kid-pleasing appeal of the hapless parents getting upstaged by the savvy daughter, the story also offers young readers or listeners the chance to predict what will happen next, as each "baby" is slowly unwrapped: first the tail, then a limb, then the face. Also likely to draw laughter are the parents' predictable responses to the refrain, "That's not my baby brother!" Martchenko's energetic and slapstick artwork, along with the story's finale, "prove" that animal mothers care for their babies as much as human mothers nurture theirs. A charming and idiosyncratic way to handle the new-sibling issue for libraries and bookstores alike.
Coop Renner, Blackshear Elementary, Austin, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.