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Friday, July 6, 2012

When I Was King, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by David McPhail. Harper, 2008. $18.50 ages 3 and up

"You yawn, they laugh.
You snort, they cheer.
You drool, they smile
from ear to ear.
You burp, they giggle
with delight...
But if I do, it's not polite."

My brother Jack is only fifteen months younger than I am, and I have little recollection of him as a toddler. I was still a baby myself so may not have even noticed him upsetting the apple cart. Most of the stories told are not part of my early memories. I do remember complaining as we got older that he was allowed to do things that I had not been able to do. Really??? Don't we all have complaints about our younger siblings (if we are lucky enough to have them) or our older siblings (if we are lucky enough to have them)? It's part of being a family, isn't it?

So the older 'King' brother in this story by Linda Ashman and David McPhail is just following the pack, I think; but, he does it so well. He has a wondrous voice and whiny, too. It is the right of those who must welcome and accept a new baby. Before this baby, he couldn't do anything wrong. Now, no one even notices when he does things right!

Some days can be more difficult than others...we've all been there!

"Before you came, this tub was mine.
This soap was mine, This sub was mine.
This train was mine.
This hat was mine.
This boat was mine.
This bat was mine.
This drum. This book."

You get the picture...things have changed.

One particular bad day, there were so many things to be upset about that the King loses it, and succumbs to a screaming fit. It's all Mama needs to pause, and hug, and whisper soft assurances.
Then, as Moms are so capable of doing, she turns the tables, making the older brother see all the amazing things that he can do...because he is grown!

All's well that ends well!

If you know the wonderful artwork that David McPhail consistently creates for picture books for young children you won't be surprised to note the expressions, the moods and the charm that each of the brothers exhibits. He adds to the humor found in the rhyming text that will soon have young readers chanting along.

Expecting a new baby? Wondering about a shower gift? Don't miss this one!

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