Raisin’s tiny bovine nose is out of joint when her new baby brother arrives.
Before she becomes a big sister, Raisin the calf revels in being the littlest cow in her herd. Day’s illustrations incorporate environmental text as she makes lists of things she likes (movies, the color brown, and lists among them) and things she doesn’t (including cauliflower, thunder, and change). The latter list is a harbinger for the plot’s central conflict: when Raisin’s mother has a baby, the new big sister decides he looks like a head of cauliflower, and she hates the changes his arrival creates. For one thing, no one comes to boost her up to see the movie playing at the drive-in visible across the pasture fence, as they usually do. Then a thunderstorm begins when she succeeds in giving herself a boost with the aid of a bucket as stepstool. She returns to the herd, cranky and upset, but when she sees how scared and sad the baby is, big-sisterly instincts kick in and she offers comfort—and she’s even inspired to give him a name as sweet as her own: Raindrop. This is well-trod territory in terms of storytelling, but Day’s multimedia art ratchets up the cuteness with little Raisin’s fuzzy topknot and displays a quirky sensibility while details like the drive-in theater keep staleness at bay.
One to add to the new-baby shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)