A picture-book sequel continues to explore the life of a rambunctious, redheaded protagonist as she prepares to become a big sister.
At the outset, Lizzy discovers that she is growing out of some of her clothes, which her mother informs her will be suitable hand-me-downs for her new sibling. As Lizzy comes to terms with the concept of an addition to the family, she discovers a small, beat-up sapling in her backyard. She decides to tend to this tree (“ ‘We can help little one,’ / Lizzy said with a smile. / ‘Come grow and get strong. / Stay with us for a while’ ”). Then the reader watches Lizzy learn to maintain the tree as the seasons pass; she waters it with a hose and makes sure it is warm in winter. As spring flows into summer, “Lizzy’s wee tree / had grown fuller and stronger.” After it outgrows its pot, Lizzy plants her tree in the yard “with love and great care.” The story implies that nurturing this tree will prepare the heroine for caring for her future sibling. Faatz and Trimarco’s (It’s Just So, 2015) tale is written in Dr. Seuss–esque verse, with the occasional nonrhyming line containing an invented word (for example, “Snowbomidable” and “TREEMONDO-MONGOUS”). The poetry flows evenly and should be entertaining for young readers. Trimarco’s illustrations also have a Seussian touch, at least in the characters’ gravity-defying hairstyles. The pictures are clean, colorful, simple, and engaging; they depict a happy Caucasian family and Lizzy’s beloved white dog with distinctive ears. While there is a plethora of picture books dealing with the issue of becoming an older sibling, this one breaks the mold by using the gentle metaphor of the tiny tree to allow young readers to draw their own connections. Lizzy is a cute and relatable protagonist, someone who wants to be an effective helper and a reliable sister. This delightful volume will likely remain a staple for readers anticipating a new baby.
An appealing tale for an expanding family.