Vera's Baby Sister
PreS-K. Rosenberry gives a nice twist to the theme of sibling rivalry in her latest picture book about Vera. The clear, expressive gouache illustrations are set sometime in the past, but the feelings are timeless, showing the small girl's anger at being displaced by the smelly, noisy newcomer that everyone is fussing about. Then along comes grandfather, who puts Vera on the path to feeling better by helping her plant a garden and showing her how to make a special tent for beans she is growing. As Vera gardens and cares for her plants, she finds peace and quiet in her own place as well as the excitement of helping something grow. The nurturing story is a fine parallel for Vera's increasing connection with her baby sister. The pictures show the baby nearly always in the background, until, in a quiet, tender climax, Vera looks down at her sister, they reach out to one another, and they laugh together.