Two brothers call dibs, starting a war that escalates to epic proportions.
In Gehl’s simple narration, older brother Julian always calls dibs on everything. Dibs on the plate with the planets on it and on the star-shaped cookies, while his baby brother, Clancy, observes. It is no surprise that Clancy’s first word is “Dibs!” However, Clancy has upped the ante. Instead of calling dibs on mere toys and treats, he goes for their parents’ bed. Mom and Dad relent: “Well, he did call dibs.” Clancy continues, calling dibs on the entire bakery (and stuffing his face), on an airplane, and even on the White House. All of the adults cede to Clancy, even the Secret Service: “Well, he did call dibs.” Julian attempts to explain the rules of dibs and democracy, insisting that “you can’t call dibs on the White House! You need to be elected”—but to no avail. It is not until Clancy calls dibs on NASA and blasts into space on a rocket that Julian reflects on his relationship with his sibling. Gehl provides a steady pace of increasing suspense and silliness, capping Clancy’s demands with a cosmic climax and ending with a punchline. Piwowarski provides realistic characters with bright blended colors and blurred borders that capture the mischievous spirit of the story. Julian, Clancy, and their parents all appear to be Asian. Adults, beware of the dibs wars this title will initiate.
Young readers will definitely call dibs on this one. (Picture book. 4-7)