Annoyed by her triplet brothers, Loula begs her parents for a little sister and learns that making a baby is like making a cake—you need just the right ingredients.
A coy list follows: One needs a full moon, chocolate, butterflies, a candlelit supper, kisses and hugs. Such saccharine winking occurs above the heads of little listeners, who might squint befuddled for just a moment, but, quick as lightning, Loula dashes off with her gallant and ever accommodating chauffeur, Gilbert, to gather up the necessary items. Loose watercolor-and–pen-and-ink illustrations sit softly within clouds of white space, their washes of color and lines assured while uninhibited, befitting this delightful story in which a child’s flights of fancy and fantasy drift along happily unchecked. Gilbert, a long, lean string bean of a man, often bows toward little Loula, listening intently and deferentially following her (misguided) instructions. The pair’s moonlit dinner seems a bust, until a hungry hound turns up to both gobble up the meal and serve as the sister Loula’s always wanted—even though he’s a mister.
Children yearning for a reversal of authority, or at least for an adult to go along with their brand of make-believe, will nod approvingly and smile often at Loula’s confounding cookery. (Picture book. 3-6)