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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ready, Set ... Baby! Written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Qin Leng. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Raincoast. 2017. $24.99 ages 5 and up

"We were NOT prepared for how many times a day our baby would need a diaper change.
How many so far? Three?



For all those new moms out there on Mother's Day 2017, here's a book that might help your older kids and others learn the ropes. The young narrators have experience; they want to share what they have learned with the kids who will read this book. It is valuable advice.

Anna and Oliver do know their subject ... they are frank about the lead-up to the birth, the arrival, and the first meeting. They are also very open to sharing every one of those experiences as they explain in this note:

"A new baby's coming your way?
We got one of those!
Lots of people are probably telling you
what to expect, but kids in the know can
give you the real deal. Don't worry. It's
not as hard as it seems.
We were GREAT at it right away.
Well, almost right away ...

Anna and Oliver"

As they grow accustomed to her presence, Anna and Oliver make many funny observations about her. The sounds she makes, including SPLORT! which leads to the need for a new diaper. Parents are pleased to have help with that. They ask about and can then explain the umbilical cord, the things babies can and cannot do, the visits and gifts, and what siblings can do while everyone 'oohs' and 'aahs' over the tiny bundle. Holding the baby must be orchestrated, and might just result in a bit of a mess. Oh, well.

Filled with confidence-giving advice, and wonderful cartoon drawings that make plain their days, this book reassures anyone harboring a worry about what to do when the new baby arrives. It is a charmer, adding websites and tips that are beneficial and positive.

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