With the help of his parents and big brother, Monkey gets ready to become a big brother, too.
An anthropomorphic monkey family composed of a pregnant mother, a father, big brother, and little brother prepares to welcome a third monkey-child. Everyone is happy about the baby, except, as the title suggests, for Monkey. “I like being a little brother,” is his response as the others revel in their excitement. While they anticipate, reminisce, and prepare, Monkey frets and tries to work out his feelings. Ultimately, a visit to the doctor’s office with Mommy allows Monkey to hear the baby’s heartbeat, and this seems to make him feel more at peace and perhaps even excited, too. But this crucial emotional shift is quite understated in both text and art, which undermines successful storytelling. Brown’s colored-pencil–and-gouache illustrations will seem familiar to fans of his Arthur books and TV series, but the hand-lettered text and linework successfully render the overall style more expressive than the flatter aesthetic found in those stories. Daddy and Mommy involve Monkey in baby preparations, and when Monkey holds his new sister in the hospital, he is unequivocally happy. Ultimately, however, there’s little to distinguish this new-baby book from others with the same well-trod theme.
There's not much new about this new-baby book. (Picture book. 3-5)