A lighthearted story about an only child who learns to appreciate being “just one”
In this winsome story, a likeable young narrator explores the perks and pitfalls of being an only child. Comparing his situation to that of his cousin, Nico, who has many siblings, the narrator realizes that having a household full of brothers and sisters is not always as fun as it seems. Even though he is the only child at home, he has many family members who love and care for him - and so does his friend Lily, who’s an only child, too! Sometimes, he realizes, being just one is just right.
When I was growing up, I was sometimes jealous of my friends who were only children, because they didn't have a younger sister with whom to contend for attention or the surviving Peanuts glass, or the biggest piece of chocolate cake. They also always seemed to have more books and toys than we did, because they didn't have to be divided between two kids who were two different ages. Conversely, sometimes my "only" friends would tell me that they wished they had a sister, like I did, or even a brother. I think that we all realized that there were pros and cons to each of our situations. This book captures that concept. In fact, it really focuses a lot on the benefits of being an only child, while also acknowledging that it is okay to have those feelings of wanting a sibling. My favorite line in the book is, "I figure 'only' doesn't have to mean lonely." (I also like how he is the yummy part of the Mommy and Daddy sandwich.)
A part of me does wish that they had gotten a bit more into his friend's Lily's situation. There is only one mention of her in the book. She seems to be an only child, living with a single mother. The narrator spends so much time comparing his own situation to his cousin Nico's, that it feels like Lily is a bit shafted or almost unnecessary to the story. Other than that little blip that threw me off a tad, I really did like this book. I have some "onlys" in my life who would have appreciated this book when they were younger!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.