The day Ella's mother came home with baby Jasper, a lion slipped through the door,"" an alter ego on the loose. The lion...

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ELLA AND THE NAUGHTY LION

The day Ella's mother came home with baby Jasper, a lion slipped through the door,"" an alter ego on the loose. The lion snatches off the baby's blanket, roars when Ella's mother feeds the infant. When the baby's teddy bear is shredded, Ella has to admonish the beast, though he is back to his old tricks soon enough. In the pivotal scene, the baby is in danger and Ella pulls through, gaining the attention she craves and finally accepting the baby into the fold. The lion as a vehicle for Ella's emotions isn't so subtle that it obscures the message. Ayto's paintings (recalling Sendak's earliest illustrations), all wobbly and expressive, masterfully convey feelings of anger, ruthless glee, and knowing shame, although they do suggest that those sentiments are not shared by Ella. If only a heroic gesture on the part of the older sibling can curtail jealousy, what recourse is there when no such opportunity presents itself? Cottringer's first book adds little to the burgeoning canon of titles about a new baby in the house, but the language is vigorous and the telling is sharp.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996