By Dandi Daley Mackall and Illustrated by Carlynn Whitt. Ages 4 – 7 (Son loves it at 3). Two Lions. Sept 2012. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-0761461913. Fiction.
At a Glance:
A little monkey is skeptical that his mother is really going to have a baby.
What I Appreciate About this Book:
- A fun and playful look from an older sibling’s perspective about pregnancy.
- The older sibling/narrator of the story has a wonderful attitude about the entire pregnancy and arrival of the new baby.
- Gorgeous and vibrant illustrations that set the tone beautifully.
- There are some hilarious lines in this book — my favorite being, “I was in there once, four years ago. I didn’t see anybody else. I think I would’ve seen somebody if there had been a baby in there.” Also one of the gifts for the baby is a, “monkeyshine mirror.” Ha!
- Of all the “preparing for a sibling/new baby” picture books we have read, this one has engaged my son the most.
- I love the portrayal of the Grandmother in this book. It resonated well with my son.
- I highly recommend this book whether you’re expecting a new baby or not. It is beautiful, fun, and a genuinely happy book.
Our Experience Reading This Book:
I feel like this book was written for us. Before we read this book, in trying to explain to my son that I am pregnant, my husband would tell him that, “Mama is growing a new playmate for you.” (Which may or may not backfire on us later.) So when we read this book and got to the quote, “Papa says, ‘No kidding! You’re getting a new playmate.'” It was perfect for us. This book uses many of the same terms that we have been using and seems to have gotten through to my son that there is in fact a baby in my belly.
The baby turns out to be a little sister. I don’t know the gender of my baby, but my hunch is that it is going to be a girl. I love that even though the little monkey wants his mama to have another little boy, at the end there is a great image of the little monkey and his little sister skateboarding through the trees in the jungle.
I love the illustrations in this book. They are beautiful, bold, happy, accessible to my son and appealing to me. The images are playful and whimsical while addressing an important topic. They’re perfect!
I’ve read every picture book on “preparing for a new baby” that I can find and there are a lot of good ones. Yet, almost every single picture book addresses the older sibling’s jealousy/insecurity/loss of having parents to himself as the main theme in the book and has a lot of negative feelings associated with the arrival of a new sibling. While this is very valid, useful, and important — it isn’t want I want right now. Later, if after the baby comes and my son is freaking out and hates the baby, then we will deal with it and I’ll use these picture books to try and help him. But right now, what I want is a happy and fun book about the new baby. I was getting a little frustrated because I couldn’t find purely fun and happy books and then we came upon this one and it is perfect for us and our needs right now. This is also the only book about a new sibling that my son has asked me to read again and again. So, if you’re looking for a happy book to help your little one prepare for a new sibling — this has been hands down our favorite and most useful book — we highly, highly recommend it.
- Author Dandi Daley Mackall: http://www.dandibooks.com/
- Illustrator Carlynn Whitt: http://carlynnwhitt.wordpress.com/
Some of My Favorites Reviews of This Book:
Where Obtained: From my local library. Reviewing this book solely because my son, my husband, and I love it and I think you and your children will enjoy it, too.