Tuesday, January 31, 2012

There's Going to Be a Baby, by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury (ages 3-7)

Having a new baby brings change for any family, and it can be a big adjustment for a child who gains that new sibling. As parents’ attention shifts toward the coming baby, the soon-to-be big sister (or brother) wonders what it might mean for her (or him). Will her parents have time for her? Will the baby want to play with her big sister, or just take all of dad’s time?

There's Going to Be a Baby
by John Burningham
illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
MA: Candlewick, 2010
ages 3 - 7
available at your local library, favorite bookstore or on Amazon
Anticipation and imagination. That is the powerful mix at work when a young boy asks his mother, “When is the baby going to come?” As they walk along, she answers in a perfectly reasonable way that it will come in the fall, when it’s ready.

“What will the baby do?” wonders the boy.

 “Maybe when the baby grows up, it will be a chef and work in a restaurant,” suggests his mother.

Hmmm, the little boy isn’t sure that’s a good idea. Turn the page, and the little boy imagines a baby making pancakes, spilling a mess everywhere.

As the young mother suggests straightforward answers, the little boy imagines all the trouble a baby might cause. You’ll laugh at the preschooler’s inventive imagination, but you can also feel his anxiety and uncertainty. Just what will this new baby be like? This sweetly funny book, with its retro feel and muted colors, will bring smiles to parents and children anticipating a new baby.

For more books to share with children about having a new baby, head over to my Bookshelf article for this month at Parents Press. I feature five books that look at this change from a child’s perspective.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Candlewick Press. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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