Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
What's So Bad About Being An Only Child?

What's So Bad About Being An Only Child?

Fall 2007 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Cari Best
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
ISBN: 978-0-374-39943-6
Hardcover Price: $16.00
This sly reversal of the typical older-sibling-jealous-of-the-new-baby picture book tells the story of Rosemary Emma Angela Lynette Isabel Iris Malone, so-saddled because every relative in the extended family took a hand in the naming. Everyone, in fact, from Uncle Jeff to Aunt Barbara to the unnamed grandparents hangs on Rosemary's every need until her life gives new meaning to the term "cosseted." Eventually, she comes to the conclusion that being the target of everyone's affection is hard work and she takes her complaints all the way to the top. "'You need to have another kid right away,'" she tells her mother, hands firmly planted on her hips. "'And that's that.'" In the end, all is resolved to everyone's satisfaction though not in the way Rosemary demands or even imagines, and the clever title changes from a statement of fact to an open-ended question. As befits an object of adoration, self-proclaimed or otherwise, all the relatives appear in washed-out pastels while Rosemary and her friends are vivid in stripes, polka dots, and colorful kerchiefs. White backgrounds contrast with broadly brushed-in backdrops enhancing the angular perspectives and giving the elongated figures of the adults and the squat big-eyed ornery Rosemary ample stage-space for their domestic drama.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

Look for this product at:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers

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