THE WILDEST BROTHER by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer (Scholastic)
Ben has a wild imagination. He is also lionhearted and elephant-strong. He has to attack the monster (also known as the wardrobe) and save his big sister Anna. He has to battle the Moldy Green Ghosts (also known as toilet paper and towels) in the bathroom. Woe to the Slime-burping Monster, licking the pans in the kitchen! Fie on the foxes and wolves that await unsuspecting Anna in the garden! Pity the poor Burglar who must bound with the jump-rope until he learns to behave! When night falls, though, is there anything from which Anna might protect her fearless little brother? This book is a joyful testament on the all-too-rare topic of sibling affection, and maybe just a little bit about patience as well. The exuberant, hilarious cartoon illustrations are pitch-perfect for depicting this brother in his most meshuggie mode. As for Funke, she is popular for her heavyweight, textured fantasy novels like INKHEART, and it's nice to see her lighter side shine. (4 and up)
Also of interest:
If you like this book, you will also like MAX'S DRAGON SHIRT by Rosemary Wells (Penguin), an oldie-but-goodie in which brother and sister bunny have a debacle in a department store. (3 and up)
On a personal note
Had a wonderful time appearing at the Book Cellar, on an esteemed panel with Chicago talents Aaron Reynolds, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Sean Callahan. Special thanks to all who attended and to Susie, our lovely hostess, who gave my son and husband super-sized pretzels!
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