What older sister hasn’t wanted to make her baby brother disappear?
Every time Ruby asks her mom if it’s time to play, she’s putting a diaper on Oliver, fixing his lunch or feeding him. Ruby tries reading and dressing up her dog, Rory, but it’s not the same without Mom. Ruby, with Rory at her side, waves her magic wand (a stick) to imagine making the baby disappear; she also imagines hiding him in the cabbages at the supermarket, putting him in a yard sale, and—her best idea—building a rocket and sending him to the moon. Best of all is when Mom joins in the space adventure. While many versions of this familiar storyline are available, it’s Dempsey’s charming watercolor-and-pen illustrations that set this apart. The soft, pale hues against white backgrounds create tender scenes in a style that blends the wispy touch of Charlotte Voake and the sensibility of Jan Ormerod. Details add dashes of humor, delineate emotions and imbue Rory with personality (his doggie comments are fun). Each fantasy is illustrated with a full-page depiction of the deed in an appropriate style—a sign affixed to a tree for the yard sale and space-age typeface to narrate the trip to the moon.
A sure-fire hit; what Oliver would like to do with his big sister should be next. (Picture book. 4-7)