Spurned by his hypercompetitive big brothers, little Liam trumps their business plan.
Identical twins Lister and Lester are constantly trying to outdo each other, leaving Liam, who only wants to play, on the outs. So when they set up rival lemonade stands, borrow money from their parents to market their drinks, and reject his offer to help, off he goes to do odd jobs on his own and save his earnings (which include, from one neighbor, baskets of apples). Then, when he judges the twins’ businesses have peaked, he opens “Liam’s Apple Avenue,” selling apple juice with some secret added spices. In no time, his scoffing sibs are out of business, in debt, and applying to him for jobs. After a brisk round of bargaining, he hires them…as employees and as playmates—and “sometimes,” Wilson concludes, “they competed.” Holinaty’s illustration for this final tweak is just a generic view of the three brothers’ faces, so visually at least the episode ends with more of a thud than a zing. Refreshingly, though, along with plenty of variation in hair and skin color in group scenes, the popeyed central trio in the cartoon illustrations is a warm, medium brown.
Hard work, thrift, and ingenuity add up to success not only in business, but social relations too. (Picture book. 6-8)