Jez Alborough, Albert and Little Henry

Walker, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4063-5750-9

This is a delightful picture book about the impact of a new sibling. It starts with Albert as a young puppy being read to in bed. As he gets older he makes up stories which he tells to his delighted parents. But everything changes when Little Henry arrives on the scene. Whenever he starts on a story, his parents are too busy to listen. Everyone's attention is on Henry, Nobody notices that Albert is getting smaller and smaller. As he shrinks, his anger grows. Then his mother gives him a present - a special book with blank pages for all his stories. He stops feeling small, and everybody now wants to hear his tales. He tells them about a big dog who became unhappy and started to feel small, but his mummy told him he didn't need to be unhappy and that whatever happened to him his mummy and daddy would always love him. By the end of the book we see that Albert has even grown to enjoy being with Henry.

A comforting, warming story, with comforting, warming illustrations. A new Jez Alborough picture book is always a treat, and this will delight his existing fans and create lots of new ones. It's just right for a young child struggling with the arrival of a brother or sister, and will appeal well beyond that demographic. aside from its other qualities, it is a lovely celebration of the power of stories.