SMALLER THAN MOST by Shirley Lincoln Rigby


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Three related stories make up this appealing 32-page book featuring a family of pandas. In the first tale, little Won-Ton shares his mother's chair and questions why her lap is getting smaller and her tummy growing bigger. She begins to explain, but he tells her that he can't listen. ""Because your tummy just bumped me."" The bumps, say Mother panda, are Won-Ton's new brother or sister saying hello. He gives his mom's tummy a hug to say hello back, and to tell the new panda that he loves ""him."" The second story brings Won-Ton's Grampa to stay with him while his parents go off to the hospital. Grampa enlists Won-Ton's help in building a crib for the new baby panda. The homecoming of Won-Ton's new sister, Su-Lin, concludes this sequence. In the third and least impressive story, Su. Lin has matured to the point of baby talk, and she lets her big brother know what she wants--a lollipop from a jar Won-Ton can't reach unless he stands on a stool. When his mother asks how Su-Lin got her lollipop, Won-Ton bursts into tears, lamenting the fact that he had to use a stool to reach the candy. Mother has him fetch a pop for each of them, and then confesses that, as a child, she, too, was ""smaller than most."" And she goes on to say the expected--that ""the best things come in small packages."" The First two stories will certainly offer solace to soon-to-be siblings in need of it; the last story is somewhat superfluous. The text of Rigby's first book is pleasant, but it is Carter's colorful, lively artwork--from the minuscule newborn panda to the panda-decorated wallpaper in Won-Ton's bedroom--that steals the show.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1985
Publisher: Harper & Row