There’s something about balloons that just spells fun; more so if they’re helium-filled and seem to take on a life of their own — almost like ephemeral pets threatening to escape as soon as you loosen your grip on their flimsy leashes. Then again, watching them float away to an unknown destination is part of the magic, isn’t it?
Three little bears break their mother’s beautiful blue seashell by accident. And so, knowing that they are in a lot of trouble, they quickly set out in their sailboat to find another one to replace it before she discovers what they have done.
When two sharp canine teeth appear in little Tootie’s mouth, seemingly overnight, the adorable toddler turns into a serial biter who sinks her “fangs” everywhere — and unfortunately for her big brother, she seems to find him particularly tasty… *Youch!* Could it be that she’s really a vampire baby?! (It sure doesn’t help that she seems to favour blood-red food and sleeps really poorly at night…)
When the Bunny family finds a baby wolf left outside their door, Mama and Papa are so smitten that they immediately adopt him and shower him with unconditional love. Alas, not everyone feels the same — little Dot has strong misgivings about having Wolfie as a brother: “He’s going to eat us all up!”
“Sofas are for sitting on, and not for bouncing!” agreed no kid ever, and especially not Jessy and her brother Tom, whose acrobatic play and grand adventures depend very much on their beloved big blue sofa. Even their two cats Inky and Binky are willing participants in their creative escapades, where their big blue bouncy playground transforms into a submarine, a hot-air balloon, a taxicab, an elephant and whatever else they can conjure up with their boundless imaginations.
At a certain point, kids will start asking the potentially awkward question, “Where do babies come from?” — as does the young big-brother-to-be in The Baby Tree , who tries to get answers from various sources, and ends up with a mixed bag of them, all beautifully imagined in Sophie Blackall’s gently whimsical illustrations.
Life with siblings isn’t all cookies and cream, so to speak. After all, the flip side of anyone spending so much time together is that there’re bound to be instances of bickering, petty quarrels or fights, which is normal. What’s more important is not allowing whatever negative emotions that are riding high in that moment to linger long enough to cause any real damage. And this, essentially, is the gist of Eric, The Boy Who Lost His Gravity, which is almost uncanny in its depiction of sibling rivalry.
The arrival of a new baby often heralds many changes in the household, and the impact is arguably the greatest on the newly promoted big sister/brother who has no choice but to adjust to these sudden and life-altering upheavals.