What a Good Big Brother! by Diane Wright Landolf, paintings by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher - review
Here is a sweet little structured story about the baby, Sadie, and her big brother Cameron. Cameron watches and helps as his parents diagnose and treat Sadie's diaper cry, her tired cry, her hungry cry, and her who-knows-what cry. He pats her head, hands Dad the wipes, rubs her tummy, kisses her toes. He's a good big brother, there's no doubt.
The art here is wonderful. Somehow, backgrounds executed in an almost unbelievably zingy color palette and range of patterns perfectly complement the sensitive, naturalistic paintings of Cameron and his family. Little collage elements, visible paint and ink textures, and outlines of baby feet and hands give each page an organic, tactile quality.
And the words are wonderful too. When it comes to that sometimes-babies-just-cry cry, Cameron is patient and gentle. He murmurs, "Poor Sadie. Poor little lady," as he pats her head, and I've read the book twice now and both times I welled right up. Everyone should have a child that is at one time in his or her life as sweet and gentle as Cameron is on that page. It might be worth reading this book to every kid you know, just so that kid can see how touched a grownup can be by a child's sensitivity.
Extra points for giving us a nursing mom and not hammering us over the head with her.