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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