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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Picture Books We Love

It's Hard to Wait: Books for New Brothers and Sisters

Becoming a new big sister or brother is a very big deal.

In the Shop we get asked quite a lot for book recommendations that might help introduce the idea of a growing family or new siblings to a young child. Luckily, there is no shortage of picture books about new babies - a big sister gets a baby sister, a big brother gets a baby sister, a big sister gets a baby get the idea. However, as a customer pointed out the other day, so many of these books show the main character as anxious or unhappy about the new sibling. While it's true that many children feel this same anxiety or fear of change in the family dynamic, many children don't feel like that at all. They're excited. They can't wait. So why, the customer asked, should I read them this book and put the idea in their head that they should feel jealous of the baby?

I was very happy when I came across Hello In There: A Big Sister's Book of Waiting by Jo Witek, illustrated by Christine Roussey (Abrams, 2013).

This is just the book that shows the love, excitement and anticipation of waiting for a new sibling to be born. This large format book is not quite a board book, but has thicker than usual pages making this a great book to share with even a younger 1-2 year old audience. The verso pages of the book show the mother's belly, with a clever little flap that lifts to uncover the unborn baby inside the belly. (Don't worry - rather than being scientifically accurate, this unborn baby is fully formed and quite cute!). As you turn the pages, the mother's belly grows and grows until it even crosses the gutter and extends onto the other page! The baby is growing too and young readers will enjoy searching out the flap on each page and seeing how the baby grows in the mother's stomach.

On each recto page is the soon-to-be big sister narrator, talking to the baby. "You're in there and I'm out here, outside mama's belly. I'm waiting for you!" What I especially love about this text is how it captures the excitement and anticipation without any malice or unease. "I love to sing you songs. I sing extra loud so that you can hear me!" or "You are already part of the family. Whem mama comes to sit with me, I feel like we're all sitting together." And who can ignore how cute it is that she gets all dressed up to meet her new sibling?

If you're looking for some more recommendations for books that skip the anxiety and drama and go straight for the excitement and joy of a new sibling, another favorite is We Have a Baby by Cathryn Falwell.

This is a sweet and simple book that shows the all the ways a family loves and cares for a new baby. A baby to wash, a baby to dress, a baby to feed, etc." It's a great book to read in preparation for a new baby to get familiar with all the encouraged and positive ways a sibling can help care for the new baby.

Do you have a favorite book to recommend for sharing with new siblings-to-be? Let us know in the comments below.


by Eliza Brown

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 3:16 pm and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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