Used to being the only child and having things all his own way, jelly bean-loving Elmore Green struggles to adapt to the tiny newcomer who comes along. His brother changes everything and seems to usurp Elmore as ‘the funniest, cleverest, most adorable person’ his parents have ever seen. Elmore tries to shut his infuriating brother out of his activities. But gradually his brother becomes less new and less small (big enough to move into Elmore’s bedroom with him, in fact). Then one night everything changes, including Elmore’s view of his younger sibling, and a friendship gradually evolves. Indeed there are many occasions when two is much better fun than one – so long as orange jelly beans aren’t involved, that is.
Lauren Child’s amusing and inclusive presentation of new sibling jealousy is both honest and very positive. It demonstrates in a funny and accessible way how an older sibling needs time to accommodate a younger one. It’s not until right at the end of the story that Elmore deigns to call his brother by his name and showing that ‘Albert’ is well and truly accepted.
The characteristic Lauren Child collage illustrations, as always, ooze charm. Winning characters and pages littered with childhood ephemera make every turn of the page a joy to behold. One to get hold of whether or not there’s a new addition to the family.