What a Good Big Brother!

What a Good Big Brother!

by Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
     
 
“Why is Sadie crying?” Cameron asks, and asks, and asks. While Cameron loves his new baby sister, he does not love her crying. Mom and Dad can quiet Sadie by changing her diaper, feeding her, and singing lullabies, but when all else fails, Cameron takes over. A Good Big Brother can rub tummies and kiss toes to turn a whimper into a smile!

With

Overview

“Why is Sadie crying?” Cameron asks, and asks, and asks. While Cameron loves his new baby sister, he does not love her crying. Mom and Dad can quiet Sadie by changing her diaper, feeding her, and singing lullabies, but when all else fails, Cameron takes over. A Good Big Brother can rub tummies and kiss toes to turn a whimper into a smile!

With humor and warmth, New York Times bestselling illustrators Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson delightfully illustrate this fresh, positive, and true-to-life spin on getting a new sibling.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Every time Cameron's infant sister cries, his parents seem to have an answer: she's wet, she's hungry, she's tired. And once Cameron knows the problem, he's eager to help out. But Cameron really earns his stripes-and Sadie's first smile-when he's able to soothe a mysterious crying jag after his parents have run out of ideas. Landolf's (Hog and Dog) simple, descriptive writing should go a long way in alleviating-at least momentarily-the anxieties of newly minted sibling rivalry. Johnson and Fancher (Amazing Peace) offer a stunning visual counterpoint with their most luxuriant work to date. It's not entirely successful; the highly wrought backgrounds, created from intricately layered patterns, words and tiny drawings, add little emotional depth. But the team's framing and characterizations are faultless, and their use of life-size-and-larger scale is riveting. If readers aren't distracted by what amounts to weird wallpaper, they'll feel immersed in the intimacy, stress and rewards of tending a newborn. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)

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Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Cameron loves his new baby sister Sadie. But she does cry a lot. When she cries because she needs a fresh diaper, Cameron helps his dad change her. When she cries because she's tired, Cameron helps his mom put her down for her nap. When she cries because she's hungry, he gets the pillow his mom uses when she nurses her. Each time, he is told, "What a good brother!" But then she cries again, and neither his mom nor his dad knows what to do. Cameron sits down next to Sadie and pats her gently until she quiets down. Then, she smiles for the first time. What a good big brother indeed! The illustrations, of textured paints and collage, provide busy backgrounds. Sadie's persistent cries are depicted in different sizes and thick letter forms that imitate the path of sounds across the pages. They are so vivid we can almost hear them. The close-ups of the children are particularly appealing. The moral to demonstrate caring despite the irritations of the new arrival is clear to any older sibling. The endpages vividly echo the cacophony inside. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS

Clearly intended for siblings who are adjusting to having a new baby in the house, this didactic story follows a simple pattern: big brother Cameron asks why baby Sophie is crying, Mom or Dad asks the boy's help in changing/feeding/calming her, and Cameron gets praised for being good to his sister. In the end, when his parents are baffled by Sadie's tears, only Cameron can quiet her, and he's rewarded with her first-ever smile. Johnson and Fancher's mixed-media collages shimmer with vivid colors and warm emotions. Close-up paintings of the family expressively convey loving relationships. Backdrops comprised of bright quiltlike swatches superimposed with tiny hands and feet, splotches of color, and random words and letters set off the action. This quiet story of a boy who loves his baby sister will work best shared one-on-one with a child in similar circumstances.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Kirkus Reviews
There are plenty of books for newly crowned big brothers and sisters out there, but most assume an underlying jealousy at their heart. In this portrait of a gentle preschooler and his family trying to comfort his colicky baby sister, that element is sweetly absent. Cameron listens patiently to his sister's cries as she is changed, nursed and rocked through her misery. He periodically asks why his sister is crying and his parents give different answers, but in the end admit they don't know. Cameron decides to rub her tummy. The baby stops crying. Cameron then kisses her toes and she graces her family with her first smile. "What a good big brother!" says his mother-the book's refrain. Johnson and Fancher provide intimate, funky illustrations with a swooping mix of realistic images against colorful designs (that incorporate several waaaaaaaa's in the background, as well as the occasional wipe wipe and kiss kiss). A pleasing model for any new older sibling, jealous or not. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375842580
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/27/2009
Series:
Picture Book Series
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
10.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Diane Wright Landolf is a writer and editor of children’s books. She is the author of Hog and Dog, Sammy’s Bumpy Ride, and Hooray for Halloween. She has a younger sister and many nieces and nephews, but was never very good at getting any of them to stop crying. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Matt, and son, Owen, who she hopes will be an excellent big brother someday.

Husband and wife team, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have collaborated on more than 20 picture books, including the New York Times bestselling My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, New York’s Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne, and The Boy on Fairfield Street. Most recently they illustrated Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou. Steve and Lou live in Moraga, California, with their son, Nicholas. Visit their Web site at www.johnsonandfancher.com

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