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Preschool Books: New Baby/Sibling Theme
The arrival of a new baby can be a time of adjustment for the existing young children in a family. Children often feel happy and proud, curious, and jealous all at the same time. Babies are a subject that is endlessly fascinating, and you'll find a wide selection of books about babies, including some counting books featuring babies as the subject! Having a new sibling is a world-rocking milestone for young children, but it is quite common, too. These children's books can be read with young children who are expecting to add a sibling to the family, or can be presented in a preschool lesson or during a story hour at the library.
Babies by Gyo Fujikawa is a delightfully illustrated book that shows babies and toddlers in a gentle, loving, and humorous way. I highly recommend this title that is on its second or third generation of readers. Please see my full review of this book.
What the No-Good Baby is Good For by Elise Broach and Abby Carter is the story of a young boy who tells his Mom that he wants her to take the baby back. The mother patiently and calmly listens to the little boy explain all of the things that bother him about his new baby brother, and helps him to see 'what the no good baby is good for'. This story is gently humorous but also affirms to the older child reading this book that he is still important and loved at the end of the book. This is a cute story to read in a story hour, though just a little bit long for a young preschool crowd. This book received mixed reviews from parents who wanted to see the child in the story have a change in attitude towards his brother by the end of the story, but I think it is an honest look at sibling rivalry.
Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes may just be the best children's picture book in publication about sibling rivalry. This book stars the incomparable Lily, a spunky little mouse who appears in other Kevin Henkes stories chocablock full of attitude. What makes this story amusing and endearing is that Kevin Henkes doesn't play down Lily's jealousy of her new baby brother at all. At points in the story, you are glad to see her mother stepping in, because her jealousy of baby Julius is over the top. But in this story where sibling rivalry is the center attraction, it takes a family outsider to bring Lily over to Julius' side. Sure, she can hate him, but nobody else can!
An alternate book about sibling rivalry is the Berenstain Bears Baby Makes Five by Jan and Stan Berenstain. In this popular series book, Sister Bear becomes jealous of all the attention the new baby is getting. A school assignment changes all of that, and the resolution may be more palatable to anxious parents experiencing this phenomenon in their family than in the previous title.
My Teacher is Having a Baby by Eve Bunting is an excellent book about adults having a baby that doesn't focus on the sibling aspect. In this instance, a beloved teacher at school gets pregnant during the school year and leaves to have the baby. The transition to a substitute and the care the children show the teacher and her new baby are heartwarmingly told in the way that only Eve Bunting knows how.
I'm a Big Brother or I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole are two similar titles that explore an older sibling's relationship to a new baby. This book is an affirming book for older children welcoming a new baby into the family, and includes tips for new parents in the back of the book to help siblings adjust to the arrival of another child. Two editions of this book exist. I really enjoy the cheerful colors of the new edition of the book published in 2010.
Two titles that are geared for parents looking to prepare their children for the arrival of a new sibling includ Babies Don't Eat Pizza by Dianne Danzig and Debbie Tiley and What to Expect When the New Baby Comes Home by Heidi Murkoff, a co-author of the What to Expect When You're Expecting book. Both books are geared to an older preschool and up crowd. The What to Expect book is written in a question/answer format that is a bit wordy, but can be used as a jumping off point for parents who are a little anxious about preparing their kids to handle the baby gently and lovingly.
More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams is another baby-themed story to add to your reading list.
Early Childhood Links
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann ♦ Start a Home School Preschool Co-Op ♦ Using Music Education Techniques in Your Toddler/Preschool Storytime ♦ Start a Preschool Storytime Program/ Story Hour at Your Library ♦ Preschool Story Hour Ideas: Using Storytime Themes In a Sample Lesson ♦ Great Read-Aloud Children's Books with Reviews and Sample Lesson Plans ♦ Goldilocks And the Three Bears Preschool Creative Drama Activity ♦ Music Education Techniques to Use in Your Toddler/Preschool Story Hour ♦