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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus! By Antinuke and Lauren Tobia. Kane Miller, Publishers Group Canada. 2015. $20.50 ages 4 and up

"It is brothers," Anna
Hibiscus tells her cousins.
"That big bump was brothers."
"Boys!" shouts Benz.
"Two boys!" whispers Angel.
"That means trouble, " says
"Big Trouble!" says Chocolate.

"Uh-oh," thinks Anna

As does any child whose life is turned upside down by a new baby, Anna Hibiscus has concerns. When the baby arrives, it is two ... and they are boys! She is warned that may mean trouble. It isn't long until she discovers that they truly are double trouble!

Mama is sleeping when Anna wants her usual morning cuddle. Uncle Bizi Sunday is making food for Anna's Mama and has no time to make her usual breakfast ogi. A shared breakfast with Grandmother (this time a banana) is impossible as Grandmother is also sleeping, having helped with the birth of the baby 'bothers'. Anna often helps the aunties with washing clothes. Today, those aunties are rocking babies. Where will the trouble end?

Not with the uncles ... they are doing twice the work because of the babies. It's Papa to the rescue, with a hug and reassurance. No one has forgotten the big sister. Anna is comforted and able to pass on some love and wise advice to her little brothers:

"We have Mama and Papa,
and Grandmother and Grandfather,
and so many aunties and uncles,
and cousins to share!
You don't need to cry."

This is a perfectly delightful story, made stronger with the bold and expressive artwork created by Lauren Tobia. Her full-page spreads and spot pictures show the gamut of emotions felt by the charming Anna. Having met her in prior stories, I knew that this one would be memorable, too. Together, both artists have given us a book to treasure and to pass along to families expecting a new baby. Pay special attention to the endpapers, front and back.

Warm and winning, keep a couple on hand for times when you need a special gift for an older sibling. You can't go wrong with it.

1 comment:

  1. I read this recently and adored every page of it. Anna Hibiscus is such a delightful character in earlier books, but in this gorgeous picture book she and her family rise to even greater heights!