cover image Big Like Me

Big Like Me

Anna Grossnickle Hines. Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08354-0

Hines has a gift for depicting children in their natural habitats. This book, however, lacks the verve that some of her other books possess ( Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti and Taste the Raindrops , among them). Big Like Me presents the positive side of being an older sibling; the narrator tells his new sister all the things he plans to teach her: about listening to stories, playing hide-and-seek and so on. On each page the siblings grow a little older, until the last page, which portrays a celebration of baby's first birthday. The illustrations are beautifully natural in the mood they convey: it's nice to see the mother nursing the baby, for example, and carrying her in a front pack. But the text is so rosy and uneventful that even the most enthusiastic older brother or sister is likely to be skeptical about such a future. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)