Roly Poly (Mem Fox & Jane Dyer)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Roly Poly by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer, a sweet and wintery tale of brotherhood.

Roly Poly lives alone with his mother and father, and that’s just fine with him. He has his room and his bed all to himself, he gets to eat the fish he catches without having to share, and when he plays with his favorite walrus tooth, nobody bothers him. That is, until he wakes one morning to find someone else sleeping in his bed: Monty, his new brother. And now, everywhere that Roly goes, Monty tails behind. The newcomer is always climbing all over him, trying to play, and trying to touch his fish and favorite walrus tooth! So when Monty accidentally gets stuck on an ice floe – one that is slowly drifting out to sea – Roly Poly initially says good riddance. But when Roly hears his little brother’s pleas for help, he finds he can’t abandon Monty in his hour of need.

Sweet. This tale of new siblinghood hits some of the classic beats one might expect, and the resolution is heartwarming with a touch of realism; Roly Poly accepts and loves his brother, even though he still finds him annoying sometimes. Yet Fox and Dyer – veteran kidlit creators – know exactly how to make a simple concept sparkle. The guileless, matter-of-fact tone of the text perfectly captures the inner dialogue of a little one, and the incredible needle-felted characters against miniature backgrounds create visuals that are simple, accessible, and full of heart. JJ was particularly drawn to this one, with the earnest characters who behaved like believable children (despite being polar bears), and the cuddly-cute artwork. The length was great for a storytime, too. This one would be a great gift for any big siblings who may be dealing with their own little brother or sister woes; a reminder that irritation is temporary, and family love is far stronger. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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