Cover image for My last chance brother
My last chance brother
Axelrod, Amy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 63497.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



In this wickedly funny sibling book, a boy named Max fantasizes about his older brother turning into the worst thing he can think of-a bug. The narrator recalls the many ways Gordon ruined his birthday, from giving him a noogie first thing in the morning to dropping his toothbrush in the toilet just before bedtime. In alternating scenes, Max imagines the annoying Gordon as "Bug Boy." Gordon eventually saves the day by protecting his younger sibling from a spider on the wall. But in the midst of this heartwarming scene, observant readers will see that Max's birthday wish is coming true after all, and Gordon is sprouting wings! Told in an authentically childlike voice and shown in devilishly amusing illustrations, this book captures the love-hate relationship between siblings.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. Anyone with an annoying sibling will chortle as Max plots a birthday revenge by wishing that Gordon, his aggravating older brother, turn into a bug. Max gleefully visualizes Gordon reduced to insect size with wings and a stinger as payback for all the mean tricks: in the Chinese restaurant Max believes the fortune that Gordon reads aloud ("Beware of eating yellow snow")--until people laugh. Of course, Mom tells Max to give his brother one last chance, and eventually, he does. Max's predicament is a comedic foil for the kooky, exaggerated artwork that bounds off the page right into the reader's face. Enlarged, colored display type is effectively used to highlight important words and feelings in the narrative, which is presented on yellow Post-its stuck on the page. Details enhance the frenzy and the caricatures: Max's spiky hair, Gordon's red glasses, goofy grins revealing big white teeth. A great last line wraps up the outrageous silliness, which extends from comical book jacket to the bugs on the endpapers. --Julie Cummins

Publisher's Weekly Review

Axelrod's (Pigs Will Be Pigs) familiar tale of sibling rivalry overextends its slim premise. Max plans to use his birthday wish to turn his menace of a big brother, Gordon, into an ugly and pathetically puny bug. Max's extended fantasy ("Let's see how he likes it when all his legs get stuck on the flypaper I'll put up on his walls. I'll be the one laughing then") alternates with recollections of Gordon's nefarious deeds (e.g., at a Chinese restaurant, Gordon puts chopsticks in Max's ears). But maybe Max will give Gordon one "last chance." The author keeps the stakes low (even the protagonist seems dubious that his wish will come true) and resolves the conflict facilely when Max needs help, the supposedly rotten Gordon quickly bails him out. Davis's (Marsupial Sue) watercolor-and-ink pictures favor a mild gross-out goofiness in their dizzy perspectives and unappetizing colors. Sporting freakish hairdos and bulging eyes on their oversize, misshapen heads, the characters suggest a kind of subversiveness not evident in the formulaic text. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Bugging a sibling is taken to new extremes in this tale of a long-suffering younger brother. Max's older brother, Gordon, wakes the little guy with a vigorous head rub on the morning of his birthday. Events deteriorate from there and Max begins to dream of taking the ultimate revenge. While making a wish as he blows out the candles of his birthday cake, he asks that Gordon be turned into an insect the following day. As Max outlines the various indignities that he suffers at the hands of this prankster, he takes secret satisfaction in imagining a winged, humiliated brother known as Bug Boy. This wacky tale culminates that evening when Gordon saves the arachnophobic Max from a spider in his bedroom and the younger boy contemplates giving his brother one last chance. Davis's exaggerated, goofy, and colorful cartoon illustrations intensify the zaniness of the story. The spiteful quality of Max's emotions is tempered by the well-matched humor of the text and pictures. There is definite boy appeal here, and siblings of either gender will recognize something of their own rivalries in this wildly exaggerated tale.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.