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Angus the Answer Dog is back! This time the ever-helpful pooch is here to help kids learn all about their new baby siblings. As in the other popular titles in Heidi Murkoff's What to Expect Kids series, including What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby and What to Expect When You Use the Potty, the format is fun, friendly, and informative. Each two-page spread features a question likely to be asked by new big brothers or sisters: "What do new babies look like?" "Why do new babies cry so much?" "Why can't new babies do anything by themselves?" "Why do new babies get so many presents?" In his sensitive, respectful way, Angus answers each of the questions and offers some fun activities to help children get to know the newest member of their family, as well as making sure they get their own needs met. ("It's nice to be held, even when you're big.")
In her series for kids, Heidi Murkoff, coauthor of the bestselling pregnancy book (for grownups), What to Expect When You're Expecting, bestows a gift upon both children and parents, guiding them through some of life's tougher transitions. Her honest, down-to-earth style is reassuring to every reader who is expecting something--or someone--new! Laura Rader's cartoonish illustrations are a perfect match for Murkoff's easy-going text. Pull up a cozy chair and read aloud to big sister or brother while the new baby naps or eats. (Ages 2 to 5) --Emilie Coulter
PreS-Gr 1-Instead of being set up as a story in which a child experiences the various realities of having a new sibling, this book poses questions that are then answered in paragraph form. Queries range from "Why do new babies cry so much?" to "Can I play with the new baby?" The answers tell why babies are the way they are, how they create change in a household, and how one can interact successfully with them. Two small drawings appear on the left with the text; a full-page illustration appears on the right. The family friend, Angus the Answer Dog, acts as tour guide, providing plentiful commentary. A paw print highlights his simple suggestions for a new baby, such as practicing holding a doll or stuffed animal before holding the infant. Murkoff is a master at deciphering common concerns. Unfortunately, as hard as this book tries to be approachable, with different-colored typefaces, word balloons, and full-colored cartoon drawings of family scenes, the intended audience will be hard-pressed to sit still long enough to appreciate all of the lengthy yet well-intentioned advice. This book will be helpful to parents. Along with the dense introduction there is a well-balanced variety of important topics to address. Children will be better served if adults share these ideas one at a time, in their own words.
Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
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