The classic “new baby in the family” book has always been A Baby Sister for Frances written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban.  Frances the badger is convinced that everyone is so interested in her new baby sister that they have no time or interest in her anymore and thus she decides to run away from home.

Thank goodness there are now so many newer and better new baby in the family books to choose from!

If the new baby has already arrived and the older sibling has expressed this unhappy sentiment, then A Baby Sister for Frances is a great book to read since Frances’ parents handle the situation with wit and grace and prove to be ideal parental role models.  But if this is not the case, this book can put things into the mind of the new big sister/brother.

 

Years ago, a pregnant customer in our bookstore purchased this book, was reading it to her daughter and was interrupted with “Mommy, why does Frances hate the new baby?” The mom promptly closed the book.  So it seems that the moral of the story is 'don’t put ideas into your child’s head'.  And don’t anticipate a problem that may never happen. These books are wonderful when the situation arises – read them to assure the child that what they are feeling is normal and common. But with no indication that there is anything but excitement and joy about the baby’s arrival, stick with books that reflect this mood – and be happy!

I’m A Big Sister and I’m A Big Brother

The texts in these two books by Joanna Cole and Rosalinda Kightley are identical with the exception of the gender terms.  They depict familiar situations that the child will relate to and have a reassuring tone that big sister or big brother is so special to her/his parents and plays an important part in the arrival of the new baby to the family.

 

My New Baby

This board book by Rachel Fuller is perfect for very young children who are now the older sibling in the family. The simple conversational text and lively illustrations are carefully designed to encourage dialogue between reader and child. Other books in this series (not pictured) include Look at Me!, Waiting for Baby, and You and Me.

 

I Used to Be the Baby

Author/illustrator Robin Ballard uses gentle illustrations and simple text to express the perfect sentiment. “I used to be the baby, but now I am big.” So begins the story of a not-very-big sibling who suddenly finds himself with a baby brother.  He willingly shares his toys with the baby, plays with him and teaches his brother things.  And the book ends with a common sentiment – that sometimes the bigger kid likes to be the baby as well – and in this loving family, that is no problem at all!

 

Best-Ever Big Sister and Best-Ever Big Brother

We always love Karen Katz for her delightful illustrations and perfect text for toddlers.  These books are no exception – and they have lift-the-flap appeal that will make surely them favorites!

 

On Mother’s Lap – by Ann Herbert Scott/illustrated by Glo Coalson

This story about a little Inuit boy who is cuddled on his mother’s lap is beautiful and timeless.  He brings all sorts of toys and objects back and forth until his baby sister cries and also needs her mother – then comes the wonderful sentiment that transcends all generations – “There’s always room on Mother’s lap”.

 

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