I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother

Overview

In this delightfully engaging picture book, our narrator, big brother, uses his boundless imagination to wonder what his new sibling will look like.

Baby brother or sister, will you look like me? I blend from semisweet dark
Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama’s milk.
My hair is soft crunchy billows of cotton candy.
I’m your peanut ...

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Overview

In this delightfully engaging picture book, our narrator, big brother, uses his boundless imagination to wonder what his new sibling will look like.

Baby brother or sister, will you look like me? I blend from semisweet dark
Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama’s milk.
My hair is soft crunchy billows of cotton candy.
I’m your peanut butter big-brother-to-be.

Selina Alko’s lyrical and jazz-like text, matched with the vibrant energy of her illustrations, perfectly captures the excitement of a new baby for an older sibling, while celebrating the genuine love of family.

Selina Alko is the illustrator of My Taxi Ride and My Subway Ride. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Sean Qualls, who is also an illustrator, and their two children.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
A young biracial boy wonders what his expected sibling will look like. He is a peanut butter blend of his "semisweet dark Daddy chocolate bar" and "strawberry cream Mama's milk." His musings about possible skin tones for the baby include pure black coal, coffee with lots of cream, a ginger brown cookie, and midnight licorice purple. The boy also speculates about the baby's preferences as it gets older. Will the child like to leap and bounce, wind down the slide, dig holes in the beach, or make sand castles? His thoughts about hair return to mostly food images—string beans, broccoli flowerets, mushroom bobs, feathers round a coconut face, and sharp blades of grass sticking straight up. Other considerations include eyes and lip shapes. Baby sister arrives on the last page with peanut butter coloring similar to the boy's. The colorful pictures depict a loving family with a black father and a very pregnant white mother. The back flap explains that Alko created this book based on her own speculations when she was expecting her two children. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

A big-brother-to-be muses about his future sibling. He knows that his own looks are a combination of his "dark Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama's milk" and wonders how the biracial mix will manifest itself in his new brother or sister. From skin to hair to eyes to lip shape, the boy names the possibilities in a story more poetic than plot-driven. The book ends satisyingly with the birth of a baby sister, whose skin tone looks much like that of her "peanut butter big brother." As is frequently the case in picture books about racial differences, the text relies heavily on food metaphors to create positive associations. Somewhat abstract for the target audience, the story may appeal more to parents than to children. However, it will certainly be appreciated by biracial families, and the loving and anticipatory atmosphere may connect with any expectant family wondering who the new baby will take after.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Kirkus Reviews
A biracial child wonders what his soon-to-be-born sibling will look like. "I blend from semi-sweet dark Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama's milk," he says, introducing some of the foods used to evoke possible skin tones. He also speculates about eye color and shape, hair texture and color-eventually moving a bit from the rather cliched use of food for such descriptions. Ultimately, however, the questions posed by the young child narrator feel adult-driven, rather than at home in his voice. Flap copy suggests as much, noting that, when pregnant, Alko, "as half of an interracial couple . . . wondered what the child might look like." In other words, while expectant big brothers and sisters of all races have questions, the book ultimately visits adult preoccupations upon the child narrator and implied audience, even as illustrations (employing a naive style that beautifully suits the child's first-person voice) at times depict a more unsophisticated, childlike understanding of genetics and racial identity development. An unfortunate mismatch. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375856273
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/10/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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