It’s the day of Books and Buddies (the best school event of the year), but can Tony and Big Sister manage to get through the day on their Best Behavior?
Of course not, but luckily, they (and readers) learn a lesson along the way. The two start off very well cleaning up the house, but the glitter’s their undoing, and there will be no Books and Buddies for the Baloney sibs. An act of revenge on Big Sister’s part ultimately brings the kids together, as she kindly helps Tony spiff up Dandelion (his alter ego, umh, stuffed ostrich) after his disastrous diaper-bag trip to the Bothersome Babies’ playgroup (just think VERY pink). And because they manage to make up on their own and clean up the glitter mess, Momma and Poppa relent about Books and Buddies…and Dandelion isn’t the only stuffed friend who’s a bit overfluffed. Fotheringham’s macaroni penguins are as delightful as ever, their every facial expression and gesture broadcasting their feelings and personalities. The digital pages are brightened by vibrant splashes of blue, yellow, red and green; and let’s not overlook pink—Dandelion’s makeover is something else, indeed. Ryan proves yet again that she understands young children; Tony’s summary of the situation (as told to his stuffed army walruses) is spot-on, as is his understanding of time: “After four hours, or maybe only forty minutes, Dandelion is clean and fluffy.”
Would that every sibling squabble ended this well. (Early reader. 5-8)