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Baby Brother

by Tanneke Wigersma
Illustrated by Nynke Mare Talsma

Published by U.S. edition: Front Street, 2005
28 pages
ISBN: 1-932425-55-1

Ages 3-6

A little girl’s letter to her grandmother details recent events in the life of her cat, Stripe, who has had a big belly for weeks. Stripe, of course, is pregnant, and the little girl relates a series of seemingly disconnected events that ends with the arrival of “five little Stripes.” But the letter’s final line articulates the outcome of a marvelous parallel story that has been told only in the illustrations: “By the way, I also have a new baby brother.” There have been visual clues all along, from the pillow the little girl has strapped around her middle to emulate her mother’s largely pregnant belly to the bassinette being prepared to her mother’s at-home labor, which is taking place in the background while the girl watches her laboring cat. Always wholly child-centered, Tanneke Wigersma and Nynke Mare Talsma’s terrific picture book never strays from the young girl’s viewpoint, and never reveals too much.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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