Booklist (March 1, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 13))
Grades 2-4. Irrepressible Jasper embraces his role as classroom Star of the Week. True, show-and-tell does not go as planned. His classmates are surprisingly unimpressed by his lint collection, but he has high hopes for Family Tree day. His best friend, Ori, has a baby sister (named “Wa-wa-wa-wa” for her incessant crying), and Jasper wants one, too. Stymied by his parents’ refusal to check the hospital for extra babies, Jasper fleshes out his family tree by building a brother out of wood. Like show-and-tell, having a wooden brother does not unfold as Jasper expects. Characters are likable and quirky, and their exuberance is captured in intermittent pencil illustrations. This well-written, funny, and engaging story is a promising start to a new chapter-book series, and early readers will anticipate Jasper and Ori’s further adventures. Share with kids looking for a boy version of Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine series or with fans of Lenore Look’s Alvin Ho books.