Like yesterday’s book, in Another Brother, Matthew Cordell takes a tried and true concept (the arrival of a new sibling) and brings it to a whole new level of adorable hilarity.
Why is it that it is almost universally true that every picture book gets funnier when there are animals in it? I mean, I’m sure Another Brother would still be something special if it was filled will all sorts of tiny human characters, but lots o’ little sheep? Now that’s genius.
“For four glorious years, Davy had Mom and Dad all to himself.” And so the story starts. Paradise ends for Davy when he gets a brother, and another, and another… until he has “12 WHOLE BROTHERS!” Of course, Davy might as well have 12 little shadows, since the ewe crew follows him wherever he goes and copies everything he does, which drives Davy bananas. But when Petey, Mike, Stu, Mickey, Carl, Pip, Ralph, Tate, Lenny, Gil, Ned, and Bob finally leave Davy alone, it is awful. Davy has never felt so lonely. Not to worry, there’s a surprise ending that guarantees smiles all round.
Cordell succeeds in capturing the mix of emotions felt by an older sibling when a younger sibling arrives. A little brother can be annoying, and hilarious, and fun, and crazy-making. Now imagine all of that, times 12. It automatically takes everything to a funnier place, not to mention 12 little sheep on almost every page provides the reader with so much to look at. And Cordell doesn’t disappoint in that department. Each sheep has an expression and attitude worth noticing. There’s a whole lot of silly in the cartoonish illustrations.
Perhaps one of the lessons here is to always be grateful for little sisters, since you could have had ANOTHER BROTHER. Little sisters rock. I love the way the book communicates some of the nutty unpredictability of family life. There are laughs on every page, for every family member.
You must watch the trailer, because it has outrageously cute kazoo music in it:
And grab a coffee before you go read 7 Imp’s feature with Matthew. It’s stellar.
Another Brother is published by Feiwel + Friends.