Friday, February 12, 2010
Brand-New Baby Blues, written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Harper, 2010. $19.99 ages 3 and up
"Those good ol' days are over.
It's official, it's the news!
With my brand-new baby brother
came the brand-new baby blues!"
She was once the only child...and the whole world to her parents. She could do nothing wrong, the sun rose and set with her, the world was her oyster. All that ended with the birth of a new baby brother. What's a girl to do, but sing the blues? And sing them she does! Mama has no time to spend playing, talking or listening. Her time is taken by the baby's needs. Dad makes funny faces, and gives all of his at-home attention to the BABY. I repeat, what's a girl to do?
Well, she can sing the blues, wish for the old days when everything was perfect, when all the attention and love was hers. That baby is even using her old bed, and wearing some of her hand-me-downs. It might be better if he could do something! A closer look reveals that he has some good points...he can blow bubbles like you have never seen in your life. As the days pass, the jealousy subsides and life returns to a new kind of normal as she begins to see that brother with different eyes. He will get older, and then be of some use to her for playing, and kite flying and even for learning new lessons from his big sister.
This is the third book about babies that I have written about lately. Each is unique and offers a chance for older siblings to talk about the changes that come to families with the addition of a new baby. Using humor to alleviate some of those feelings can make the older child look with different eyes at what they find troublesome. And singing the blues is a great way to get rid of some of that pent-up hostility!