It’s her party, but no one is paying attention to the birthday girl.
All the adults (depicted with light but varying skin tones) are focused on her baby brother instead. She’s a creative girl who demands to be heard: she illustrates and tells a story, even uses her birthday wish to express her displeasure. Mom and Dad shrink and are chased by a gigantic bee under a cupboard while her brother, whom she compares to a squid, cry, cry, cries. Sparse cartoon art on a white background allows for the printed text, like the convoluted story, to wind and spin. With each page-turning “AND THEN…,” art and type become intertwined as the baby’s wails, waving arms, and smells, represented as tentacles in impossible-to-ignore red, literally overwhelm the story. At this point shocked readers will see that the baby is a gigantic red squid. This is one hugely needy squid, so hungry only Mom and Dad can help. Luckily, in a feel-good ending, the girl can solve the problem with another birthday wish—and possibly another story. Some adults may protest the depiction of an infant in such a frightening manner, but this is not their story.
Anxious children angered by the competing demands raised by a newborn may well relate. (Picture book. 3-6)