WORSE THAN WILLY? by James Stevenson


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Someone worse than Mary Ann and Louie's new baby brother Willy? Grandpa's once-baby-brother Wainwright, of course. And, like Willy, Uncle Wainey was the apple of his parents' eye. ""If I sang a song, nobody listened,"" begins Grandpa, reciting his long-ago grievances. ""But if Wainey even gurgled. . . ."" Nor, to hear tell, did Wainey improve with age. ""He blamed me for everything. . . He annoyed me night and day."" Then, as Mary Ann and Louie sympathize, Grandpa pauses: ""Well, of course, there was the time he saved my life."" And so there spins out, to rough-and-tumble cartoons, the tale of Grandpa floating away in a flood. . . to a ship manned by pirates and a trained octopus that's about to strangle him. . . when Wainey appears on the mast, ""with one end of our papa's red suspenders tied around his waist."" Wainey jeers at the pirates, then bounces away as they knock themselves out. He pursues the terrified octopus, and ties him up. And, via the suspenders, the two mustached tykes snap back home. Enter now the awaited Uncle Wainey--to kudos from Louie and Mary Ann, who wonder if ""our Willy will ever do anything that good."" At which the two convivial old gents offer some measured reassurance: ""You can never tell about brothers."" Not perhaps the slyest of Grandpa's whoppers (the drawing throughout is unaccustomedly broad), but in toto a rollicking way to banish new-baby blues.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1984
Publisher: Greenwillow