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by Margaret Wild & illustrated by Ron Brooks

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7894-2630-7
Publisher: DK Publishing

The premature birth of her brother alarms Rosie, who must learn to accept her tiny sibling into her life. Rosie, a young rabbit, eagerly awaits the arrival of her new baby brother. However, when Bobby is born early, this frail creature is not at all what she expected. Afraid, she ignores him; refusing to hold him, push his carriage, or rock his cradle. Her wise father resolves the dilemma for the perplexed little hare with a poignant story about two friends: Tortoise and Hare. When Tortoise and Hare get separated while out in the woods, Tortoise is left to journey home in the dark. Gradually but persistently, he continues on until Hare returns with a lantern. The moral, Rosie quickly understands, is that, like Tortoise, Bobby’s progress is slow but steady. Wild uses food analogies ingeniously to describe Bobby’s growth; he weighs as much as an onion when born, but soon increases from potato to turnip-size—surely, Rosie reasons, pumpkin size can’t be far away! These whimsical descriptions clarify the mysterious lingo of grams or ounces traditionally used to calculate a preemie’s crucial development. While this text deals specifically with premature infants, it works equally well for apprehensive siblings of any newborn. Brooks’s watercolor illustrations are infinitely sweet, capturing both tender family moments and the bouncy, playful exuberance of young Rosie. The layout of the text and the illustrations are faintly reminiscent of another sentimental rabbit tale: Guess How Much I Love You (not reviewed). Fans of that work will surely embrace this warm-hearted story. The soft pastel illustrations, printed on coarsely grained, creamy-colored paper and the meticulous hand-lettering lend a homespun feel to the book. A cozy tale to share with siblings. (Picture book. 3-6)