What's So Bad About Being an Only Child

Overview

Rosemary knows what it's like to be an only child: there are grownups everywhere! Brothers and sisters are what she wants. Even when they argue, it's like belonging to a special club, she thinks. How can she get a larger, more lively family? Rosemary is stumped, until she discovers some "only" creatures and figures out a way to bring home what's missing in her life.

Humorous illustrations that pop with personality show Rosemary growing from a bewildered baby surrounded by too ...

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Overview

Rosemary knows what it's like to be an only child: there are grownups everywhere! Brothers and sisters are what she wants. Even when they argue, it's like belonging to a special club, she thinks. How can she get a larger, more lively family? Rosemary is stumped, until she discovers some "only" creatures and figures out a way to bring home what's missing in her life.

Humorous illustrations that pop with personality show Rosemary growing from a bewildered baby surrounded by too many hovering adults to a confident backyard ringmaster who proves that being an only child can be fun!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Blackall, who elevates everything she illustrates, has a knack for using clever details to get the humor across."—Booklist

"Spunky, compassionate."—Kirkus Reviews

"Kids should applaud this self-reliant, spunky heroine."—Publishers Weekly

"Pert, roundheaded Rosemary has a vivid (and vividly dressed) presence in keeping with her strength of mind."—Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly

Only childhood is one big downside, thinks Rosemary. For starters, her name is enormous (in full it is Rosemary Emma Angela Lynette Isabel Iris Malone) because as the only child, she has to be repository of all her overly doting relatives' favorite names. Her house is too "easy and quiet and organized," writes Best (Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen); she has no readymade playmates waiting at home, no one to share with, not even anyone to argue with. Blackall (Ruby's Wish) gives Rosemary a wiry, willful body and dark, widespread eyes that burn with the unfairness of it all-she looks like a kewpie doll whose slogan is "This time, it's personal." And like the best action heroes, she takes matters into her own hands, adopting a menagerie of animals to provide her with companionship. "Although she was still an only child," affirms Best as Rosemary snuggles with a big dog, "she hardly ever felt like one." Parents of singletons may feel like they're being set up for some major pet acquisitions, but kids should applaud this self-reliant, spunky heroine. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

K-Gr 1 Although initially longing for a sibling because she is feeling smothered by so much family attention, Rosemary ultimately finds satisfaction in being an only child in this jovial picture book. Best gives readers much to think about as she puts the ball directly back into this resourceful girl's court: "To make herself feel better, Rosemary started collecting 'only' things...." Blackhall adds humor by featuring the child dressed in colorful stripes, polka dots, and mismatched stockings, emphasizing her personality and individuality. Rosemary's animated features show that she is definitely an in-charge child who acts confidently on her own to solve her problem. The dramatic view of her climbing a branch to rescue a cat that could be a companion is one example of the visual variety of scenes supporting the text. Both only children and those in larger families will relish reading about this girl's escapades.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Rosemary, an only child, is the center of attention and object of affection. Waited on much like a queen, this little girl longs to do some things for herself, have siblings for playmates and generally enjoy the excitement of a large family's chaotic household. "You need to have another kid right away, / And that's that," Rosemary angrily tells mother. Much to her chagrin, her parents are happy with their Rosemary, leaving her to dream about a sister or brother and to collect "only" things like a lost sock or button. When an "only" rock turns out to be a turtle, this little girl resourcefully solves her lack of companionship by adding pet siblings to her family including a cat, a rabbit, a dog, a couple of birds, one spider named Charlotte and finally, a pig named . . . you guessed it, Wilbur. Thinly lined, light and humorous mixed-media drawings in soft hues bring out Rosemary's emotional growth from blissful satisfaction to annoyance, anger, disappointment and, finally, contented cheerfulness. A spunky, compassionate, though somewhat conventional response to the only-child syndrome. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374399436
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.29 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

CARI BEST's most recent book is Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She lives in Weston, Connecticut.

SOPHIE BLACKALL is the illustrator of Meet Wild Boars, a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon selection. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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