I’M YOUR PEANUT BUTTER BIG BROTHER by Selina Alko

I’M YOUR PEANUT BUTTER BIG BROTHER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A biracial child wonders what his soon-to-be-born sibling will look like. “I blend from semi-sweet dark Daddy chocolate bar and strawberry cream Mama’s milk,” he says, introducing some of the foods used to evoke possible skin tones. He also speculates about eye color and shape, hair texture and color—eventually moving a bit from the rather clichéd use of food for such descriptions. Ultimately, however, the questions posed by the young child narrator feel adult-driven, rather than at home in his voice. Flap copy suggests as much, noting that, when pregnant, Alko, “as half of an interracial couple…wondered what the child might look like.” In other words, while expectant big brothers and sisters of all races have questions, the book ultimately visits adult preoccupations upon the child narrator and implied audience, even as illustrations (employing a naïve style that beautifully suits the child’s first-person voice) at times depict a more unsophisticated, childlike understanding of genetics and racial identity development. An unfortunate mismatch. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 10th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85627-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2009




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