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*Starred Review* Burningham and Oxenbury (did you know they're married.) are two of the finest picture-book writers around, so it's no surprise this collaboration delights on many levels. They take on a well-trod topic, the new sibling, but their spin is purely their own. It begins with these simple words set alone on a buff-coloured page: "There's going to be a baby." The facing page shows a young mother leaning against her young son's bed, while he looks at her with curiosity. Painted in pure, saturated colours that fill the pages, this simple scene leads to more interchanges between mom and son, through the snow, at a restaurant, in a flower-filled garden. The questions are often simple: When is the baby going to come. What will we call the baby. But the mostly matter-of-fact answers lead to wild flights of fancy for the boy. He doesn't want a messy baby painting pictures. The next two-page spread (like all the imaginary scenes, in blocks on a dot-matrix background) will make readers laugh at the baby's wild spin at painting. Throughout, this is a mother-and-son-only family (though Grandfather shows up to take the boy to the hospital to see the newborn), and despite the range of today's families, children may have questions about Dad's whereabouts. Yet this is a gorgeous book, full of warmth, spirit, and imagination. Soon-to-be siblings will understand the boy's musings and feel comforted as he shapes his fantasies into the reality to come. Preschool. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
John Burningham, a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, including the Candlewick titles IT'S A SECRET and HARVEY SLUMFENBURGER'S CHRISTMAS PRESENT. His work is also featured in the collectors' volume JOHN BURNINGHAM. He lives in London with his wife, Helen Oxenbury. Helen Oxenbury, a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal among many other awards, has illustrated such Candlewick books as ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, BIG MOMMA MAKES THE WORLD, FARMER DUCK, WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT, and SO MUCH! She lives in London with her husband, John Burningham.