Archive for October 5th, 2010

October 5, 2010

What’s a big brother to do?

Okay, you might notice a theme here, but these are the books my son and I are reading right now.  I suppose it’s a good thing he wants to read them over and over.  I am in the middle of some middle-grade titles, too, so more on that coming up.

Title: What a good big brother!
Author: Diane Wright Landolf
Illustrators: Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
: Picture Book
Age: 9 months and up 🙂

Summary and Review:

Cameron’s little sister Sadie cries a lot, and Cameron helps his parents.  He hands his dad some wipes (LOTS of them!), gets the nursing pillow for his mom, and rubs her tummy when it’s naptime.  But what to do when no one knows what is wrong?  Cameron’s soft touch not only calms the baby, but gets her first smile, too!

The story isn’t complicated–it’s really just what I’ve written above, and it gives kids at least a somewhat realistic expectation of what to expect with a baby–i.e., lots of crying and some helping of mom and dad.  It shows a young boy who gets pleasure in that kind of help, which is great.  And it shows the brother really involved in the baby’s life.

Just to warn you, the illustrations are a bit much.  They are gorgeous, but the backgrounds are this crazy hodge-podge of colors and patterns.  In fact, my son even asked what was wrong with the boy at one point because he had some red dots on him which had carried over from the turquoise-purple squares with red dots background.

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

This book introduces a lot of topics you can talk about with a sibling-to-be, mostly that babies are a lot of work, but they are also wonderful to share time with.  They cry a lot because they can’t talk when they need something.  Always reminding your older one that he or she was once a baby is helpful.  In fact, the first few times you read it, you might only refer to it that way–yes, you used to cry like that because you couldn’t talk!  You used to nurse like that before you knew how to eat!  This will help the older one realize that it’s not just about the baby and, while 2-year-olds are not developmentally empathetic, it at least gives them a framework to reference the baby in comparison to themselves.