Two brothers, two great warriors—two brobarians!—engage in an epic backyard battle, until the “magic that ruled all” (aka mother) calls them in.
This mixed-media contribution from Ward is highly cinematic, both in imagery and narrative soundtrack. Iggy, the younger, is “master of the sword” (his rattle), “conquer[ing] magical beasts, and challeng[ing] colossal monsters” (the family dog and the outdoor grill). He does this all in his diaper, milk bottle tucked into his sash and crowned by a mop (literally) of hair. Otto, the older, “looked on... / ...as Iggy seized his army!” Iggy looms over Otto’s miniature medieval action figures. Otto is “not amused.” Sometimes the kooky overdramatization has its tongue so deep in its cheek it’s in jeopardy of poking through. It is also in jeopardy of scooting right over smaller heads, as when Iggy “navigate[s] treacherous quicksand.” Still, what young reader can’t relate to being worked into a frenzy when an older sibling, say, polishes off the milk in their bottle—that is, “guzzle[s] Iggy’s bah-bah, finishing every drop!”? If that is not call for a serious mud fight, then what is? Enter Mamabarian! “Heads bowed in shame, they marched inside to the dungeon of seclusion.” Yes, the bath.
Good and campy and a fine opportunity for vocabulary building. (Picture book. 4-8)