This week’s Cybils’ focus is on babies! Since my baby is quickly getting old (she’ll be ten months old next week), I’m mourning the loss of a not-yet-crawling baby, but looking forward to coming months of a baby who is more interested in playing and reading with me! She obviously already loves books by the way she devours them (literally trying to eat them, which is of course perfectly age appropriate!).
The first book is my favorite of this batch. One Special Day by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Jessica Meserve (Disney Hyperion, 2012) is full of metaphors to show just what Spencer is: strong as a bear, tall as a giraffe, loud as an elephant. The animals are not named but illustrated in bright and colorful paintings as Spencer plays outside and enjoys his freedom. But one special day, Spencer is something he has never been before, and all the animals retreat as he watches his parents return home with a new baby. Spencer is a now a brother! One Special Day is an understated book in terms of text, but the large pages, bright paintings, and sweet emphasis on all that big brother can do makes it a nice addition to an older sibling’s “expecting a baby” reading shelf complete. It’s also a great book for introducing young children to the concept of similes.
Another Brother by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel and Friends, 2012) is about a young sheep who enjoys the attention of his parents, until he starts getting brothers. With lots of brothers copying his every move, he gets rather annoyed. One day, the brothers stop imitating him, and he finds he misses it. The ridiculous number of brother sheep gives the book a humorous touch, and the ending gives the reader the satisfaction of knowing that Davy will once again find happiness with his family!
Ten Tiny Toes by Todd Tarpley and illustrated by Marc Brown (Little, Brown 2012) begins with the ten tiny toes coming in to the world “a hundred times sweeter than one could suppose.” The text is sweetly rhyming, not annoying at all but also full of baby-friendly metaphors and rhythm that makes it a delight to read aloud. The story follows the ten toes as they stumble and learn to walk, as they go trick-or-treating, and as the person who belongs to the toes grows up to raise their own children. Marc Brown’s collage illustrations are adorable. As a mother, I loved it. My baby girl cooed all through it too.
Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Charlesbridge, 2012) is a big sister book, starting when Lola is reading with her mom before the baby is born. When baby Leo arrives, Lola gives him a book, the “perfect present.” When he is crying or hungry or messy, Lola knows just which book to choose to help him feel better. She knows she is being a good big sister when she reads to him. My son Raisin absolutely loves reading to his little sister, so this was a story that really hit the spot in our home. The acrylic illustrations are perfect1 and perfectly suit the mood. Big Sister Lola is the star here!
There are many more new sibling and baby books in the Cybils stack, and it is unfortunate that I will not have time to discuss all of them. My Cybils time is coming to an end, as I’ve just spent a marathon two and a half months reading through 234 out of the 237 on the fiction picture book list. I’ll keep reviewing as much as I can in the coming months, but know that there are far more books on the list than I will ever get to!
Check out the list and links to other’s reviews here.
- I especially love the (tactfully done) breastfeeding mother, as I am always disappointed when a picture book for young children show a newborn drinking from a bottle! ↩