Becoming a Big Brother or Sister


Photo of big brother holding baby brother by plasticrevolver.There are few things more exciting than bringing a new baby into the family, but introducing a young child to the idea of becoming a big brother or sister can be challenging. Luckily, picture books can be a great help.

There are a number of excellent picture books that illustrate the big changes a new baby will bring to the family, but I’ve found that many place more emphasis on older sibling jealousy than simply introducing the idea of change. While sibling rivalry should certainly be addressed if and when it becomes an issue, I set out to find books to help toddlers and preschoolers feel positive and excited about the prospect of becoming an older sibling.

Books for Young Children that Celebrate Becoming a Big Brother or Sister

One Special Day by Lola Schaefer
Does having a new brother or sister make you into MORE than you already are? Spencer is about to find out. He's as strong as a bear, as funny as a monkey, and as wild as a tiger. But on one special day, everything changes. Now Spencer is strong, funny, wild, brave, free... and gentle, too.

Supersister by Beth Cadena
Brave enough to walk to the bus stop alone. Strong enough to lift--and pour--her own bowl of cereal. Able to read a story aloud all by herself. Who could this masked girl be? It's Supersister! This fresh take on a new sibling story is sure to empower young readers, as it reminds them of all the super things they can do by themselves, and makes it possible for any child to become a super-helper.

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
"I saw the baby! Did you see the baby?" "Yes! I saw the baby, the teeny weeny thing." It's so exciting! News of the baby is buzzing from animal to animal, with each one -- fish, bird, squirrel, insect, frog -- boasting of seeing, feeding, singing to, tickling, and kissing the tiny little thing. With bold, graphic black-and-white illustrations, Mary Murphy's simple, singsong story captures the giddy commotion that only a baby can bring.

Just Like a Baby by Juanita Havill
Everyone has plans for baby Ellen. But even though she's just a baby Ellen will do exactly as she pleases. Here is a heartwarming book for any family with a new baby, wishing for a new baby, and, most important of all, loving a new baby.

There’s Going to Be a Baby by John Burningham
When is the baby coming? What will we call it? What will the baby do? We don't really need the baby, do we? This title brims with love, excitement and reassurance as the child in the story imagines all kinds of colorful futures for the brother or sister he is waiting to meet.

Hello Baby! by Lizzy Rockwell
Through a perfect blend of sweet illustrations and friendly narration, a young boy describes how a new baby is growing inside his mommy and tells what it is like when his new sister comes home from the hospital.

On Mother’s Lap by Ann Hubert Scott
A small Inuit boy discovers that Mother's lap is a very special place with room for everyone

I Used to Be the Baby by Robin Ballard
"I used to be the baby, but now I am big." So begins this story of a not-very-big sibling who suddenly finds himself with a baby brother. He willing shares his toys with the baby, he plays with him, and he knows when to be quiet. He sings a cheerful song when it is needed, and he teaches his brother many useful lessons. But sometimes even the biggest of us likes to be the baby -- and in this loving family, that is no problem at all!

Welcome Little Baby by Aliki
"Welcome to our world, little baby. We've been waiting for you." "In a simple text that's perfect, Aliki conveys warmth, love, hope, and the special tenderness felt by parents at the birth of their child."--Horn Book

What a Good Big Brother by Diane Wright Landolf
After everyone else in the family does everything they can to calm little Sadie down, it's up to big brother Cameron to take over with his special kisses and loving tummy rub--magically turning his little sister's grimace into a happy grin.

And for Something a Little Different….

Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World by Stephen Jenkins
Here, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page investigate sibling relationships throughout the animal kingdom. In this book you will learn that anteaters are always only children and nine-banded armadillos are always born as identical quadruplets. You will also learn that falcons play-hunt in the sky and that hyena cubs fight to the death. This is the perfect book for animal lovers young and old!

Photo credit: plasticrevolver


Author Bio:

Michelle L. is a Youth Services Librarian at San Carlos Library

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