Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Lynn Downey & illustrated by Pam Paparone

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8050-7152-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

A goody-goody younger brother learns to get along with his sibling in this unsatisfying look at tattling. A neat, clean observer of fun, William seems to do nothing but tattle on his older brother, Wembly. One day, their exasperated Mama separates the brothers. The following morning, lonely William watches as Wembly causes trouble with his friend Iggy. They jump in mud puddles, use Mama’s sheets as capes and make a tree fort with a sign, “No tattletales allowed.” But when Wembly’s acrophobia freezes him halfway up the ladder, it’s William who saves the day while onlooker Iggy teases Wembly. And that’s the beginning of William’s participation in life with his brother/friend by his side. Downey’s focus seems to be more on appreciating siblings than on tattling. Neither Mama nor Wembly explain to William the trouble with tattling, and so it seems that he has stopped just to earn his brother’s attention. Paparone’s acrylic artwork nicely illustrates the dichotomy between the two brothers. Skip the book—stick to a heart-to-heart talk. (Picture book. 3-8)