Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Brother by Matthew Cordell




I'm all agog over Matthew Cordell's newest picture book, Another Brother. As I turned the pages, I kept saying aloud, "I think that illustration would look nice on my wall." I resisted the urge to run down to my kitchen for a pair of scissors to cut out and frame my favorite illustrations.


Let's pretend I ran down to the kitchen. I imagine Penny, a fictitious first grader, coming up to the circulation desk and asking, "Why does this book only have three pages? Where did the other 29 pages go? What's Another Brother about?"

I would apologize to Penny, explain that the pages are framed in my home office, and say something like this:
Well, Another Brother tells the story of Davy, a sheep who has four glorious years with just his mom and dad. But things drastically change after
Petey
Mike
Stu
Mickey
Carl
Pip
Ralph
Tate
Lenny
Gil
Ned
AND
Bob

are born. (I would say the names in the style of John Moschitta.) They want to do everything exactly like their big brother. They see Davy going for a walk with a yellow balloon, so they follow him with blue, orange, green, purple, and red balloons. If Davy's eating Toot Loops for breakfast, Mom and Dad better have enough cereal to fill thirteen ceramic bowls. Poor Davy wants to be left alone. He cannot take it anymore! He runs to his mother and says, "They keep copying me. Tell them to leave me alone." His mother says, "It's only a phase, Davy. Because you're the oldest, your brothers look up to you. " Davy looks like he's going to explode. Instead, he groans. And, of course, his brothers groan, too.

The time finally comes when his brothers do not mimic him. Guess what? Davy feels overwhelmingly sad and alone.

Penny, I'm going to stop at Anderson's Bookshop on my way home to buy a new copy. You can read for yourself how Davy works through his sadness. Okay, I'll tell you one more thing: the ending is satisfying and heartwarming.

Penny groans and says, "Thanks, Mr. Schu. I really wish you hadn't cut the book apart. I'll come to the library in the morning."

************
This is not just "another" picture book about sibling rivalry. It is fresh and fun. Check it out. Now!



Borrow Another Brother from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.



Are you pronouncing Matthew's last name correctly?



Matthew Cordell illustrated Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie.


I am giving away one copy of Another Brother.
Rules for the Giveaway
* The contest runs from February 12 to 11:59 PM on February 15.

* If you win
Another Brother, I will send you an email.

* You must be at least 13 to participate.


* Pay it forward. :)


2 comments:

  1. I had to chuckle reading your comments about cutting out illustrations and hanging them on the walls of your home office. I know exactly how you feel. Imagine how book sales would climb if all we picture book lovers would get two copies, one for our collections and one to cut up for our walls. I love it when ALA uses illustrations from a book for one of their posters; like Marla Frazee's illustration from Stars. I can't wait to see this one. Thanks for the post.

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  2. So far, Another Brother is my FAVORITE pb of 2012.

    It was great to see Davy and company showcased on your blog. :)

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