Publication: Already Available
Illustrated by: Susan Mitchell
When a girl visits her aunt’s pumpkin patch as a three-year-old, her aunt and mother joke about a baby pumpkin. The girl wonders if it is possible to love a pumpkin baby. Later, the girl’s mother jokes with the mailman about a stork baby and the girl imagines a flying baby with long legs.
In this book, Yolen creates an imaginative and fun book about what it might be like to have a younger sibling. As the main character, a little girl, grows older, she finds that there are many different phases of babyhood. Eventually, the little girl gets an actual younger sibling of her own and sees her brother grow through the vegetable and animal stages described earlier in the book. In the end, the girl finds she loves her younger brother no matter what stage of life he is in.
The idea of family and siblings (younger and older) is explored with love within this book. I also like that Yolen hints at the different ways in which to answer the ever- haunting question: “where do babies come from?” Yolen explores and then gently debunks these myths while giving each myth a real life connection through metaphor.
Susan Mitchell illustrates the story in bright colors and big, geometric shapes. The pictures are simple, yet telling. My favorite pictures are the last two pages, where the girl and her little brother share a picnic and then a nap. These pictures illustrate the more quiet part of love that siblings share.
Yolen and Mitchell are a great pair for this story; it is beautifully told and beautifully illustrated.
Rating: 4 Pages