Rosie and Buttercup
by Chieri Uegaki; illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
Kids Can Press
Everybody who'd be perfectly happy swapping their siblings for a bag of chips, raise your hand. I have both mine in the air. Can I swap them even if they're full-grown? Please? I promise to eat the chips slowly.
Yeah, okay, I'm over the sibling rivalry thing. Mostly.
But if it weren't for that ages-old tussle over birth order, there'd be so much less fodder for adorable picture books, this one included. Rosie's a rat with pet crickets and a taste for dried dandelion puffs. She looks mighty cute in a tu-tu too, as depicted with European flair in Jorisch's watercolors.
Buttercup ruins a perfectly good solo act, and a fed-up Rosie offers her free to a good home. Fortunately, it's the babysitter down the street, who takes Buttercup off Rosie's hands long enough for her to cycle through her immediate bliss, then gradual remorse and finally, sheer panic.
If you've seen this before in other forms, it's fine to recycle the idea, as it rarely gets old. Rosie gives it a girly girl spin, though I'd have liked to see more of Buttercup's personality to better underscore their conflict.