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But I Wanted a Baby Brother! Hardcover – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416939415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416939412
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,069,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—This clever cautionary tale is nothing short of spectacular. Oliver Keaton is sure he is about to get a baby brother. Much to his chagrin, baby Julie arrives, on Groundhog's Day—a good metaphor that sets the tone for the story. He attempts to trade his well-behaved baby sister for a brother. He discovers that his friends' baby brothers cry all day long, or are up all night, and scraps that option, but Oliver continues his quest to find the perfect one. In one funny scene, he notices a sign at the zoo that says, "Change Babies Here," and figures this would be the perfect place to exchange his sibling; crying babies go in, and happy babies come out. He goes inside, and the odor has him running for cover. Observant Oliver becomes quite insightful and discriminating as he compares and contrasts Julie's positive qualities to those of other babies, and a strong, protective bond develops. Then Mom and Dad announce that they are expecting again and Oliver imagines the fun "guy" activities he will someday share with his new unborn brother. How will he feel if it's another sister? The watercolor illustrations include cartoon characters with a lot of expression and an adorable Julie always dressed in pink. Some pages use ellipses, which will keep readers guessing and turning pages to get to the next plot point. The ending of this tale is heartwarming and satisfying. This wise and humorous selection is a winner for storytime or sharing one-on-one.—Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

All-boy Oliver Keaton, baseball mitt in hand, is sure that he is getting the baby brother he has always wanted. Of course, he doesn't. When his parents proudly show him his baby sister, bedecked in pink blankets, he is miserable. He offers to trade with friends who have baby brothers, and he completely misunderstands the sign in the zoo that reads, “Change babies here,” expecting he can go in with a girl and leave with a boy (the diapered and bare-bottomed babies are sure to elicit guffaws). He checks in the classified ads “just in case someone was selling a used baby boy.” Both text and breezy cartoon illustrations are laced with humor, making this an excellent choice for reading aloud. Capturing Oliver's inner dialogue and the conflicting thoughts children have as they adjust to a new sibling and offering a twist ending, Feiffer's book is a cut above many of its kind. Although it's doubtful any new-sibling book will quite measure up to Kevin Henkes' Julius, the Baby of the World (1990), this one comes close. Grades K-3. --Patricia Austin

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Customer Reviews

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He eventually becomes almost apathetic about the fact that he has a sister instead of a brother.
K.
The colorful and cute illustrations bring the words to life in a way that should bring entertainment to the children and adults.
Pamela Jarmon-Wade
I like the "idea" of the book, but I agree, the message I had hoped for doesn't quite emerge from all of this reading!
Mysti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When thinking of outstanding pairs a number of dynamite duos come to mind - Rogers and Hart, Stanley and Livingstone, Fred and Ginger, Holmes and Watson, lox and bagels? Seriously, in the world of children's literature Feiffer and Goode certainly top the list.

Although long familiar with Diane Goode's captivating art and loved Kate Feiffer's Which Puppy I was first introduced to their collaboration with My Mother Is Trying To Ruin My Life, and thought them to be a perfect match. BUT I WANTED A BABY BROTHER corroborates that impression.

Feiffer's imaginative young reader-pleasing narrative presents Oliver Keaton, a scrappy, mischievous redhead if there ever was one. He's pretty smart, too, because although no one broke the news to him he figured it out by looking at his mom - he was getting a baby brother and he couldn't wait. His best pal so far is his dog, the tail-wagging Chaplin, and a baby brother will make Oliver's life perfect - there would be someone to play catch with and do all sorts of boy things.

Well, you guessed it - of all things Oliver got a baby sister, Julie. He was absolutely certain there had been a mistake, and decided he would try to make a trade. He read the classified ads and even went into the changing room at the zoo thinking that was the appropriate place. No such luck.

As time passes Oliver decides that maybe Julie isn't so bad after all - she even learned to throw a ball. However, leave it to Kate Feiffer that's not the end of the story; there is a surprise in store.

The bright, whimsical illustrations of Diane Goode bring happy exuberance to each page.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. GARRATT VINE VOICE on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My two-year-old daughter is expecting a baby sister soon, and I was very glad that she likes the character of little baby Julie so much. Overall, it's not a slam-dunk favorite for her at the moment. She can take or leave it most days, but she appreciates the illustrations. Like I said, of especially the baby girl.

But I think the people who are complaining about the boy's lack of turnaround in the book have a valid point. As you would have guess, this boy Oliver wants a baby brother very badly. And even after growing to like his baby sister over the course of the first year of her life (better late than never, I suppose), he still pines for his second sibling to be a brother. But his face on the last page looks happy and at peace nevertheless, even after meeting his second sister. What to make of it? I'm not entirely sure if a child would know what to derive from that. The next to last page, he still really wanted a brother. Does that change things? Does it not change things?

I suppose it helps not to think about it too hard.

One thing that bothered me was the author pretty much going out of her way to say that baby girls are smarter than baby boys. Alright, getting that sexism in at an early age! Fantastic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Starry-Eyed Mama VINE VOICE on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a short, sweet, simple read. It's hard enough for litte ones to understand the concept of a new baby in the house, let alone one that isn't the same gender they are. Boys want boys to play trucks and eat mud with, and when a brother gets a sister with dolls and bows, it's tough! This cute little story helps show soon-to-be Big Brothers that sisters aren't so bad - they can be even more fun than brothers! When Oliver gets his little sister, he tries to find a boy baby to trade her with, but finds that there is no one quite like his sister Julie. In the end, he gets another baby sister and readers and readers are left with "The End?" Definitely worth a read if you're adding to your family. Very cute!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M P on March 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for a co-worker about to go on maternity leave. She has a beautiful red-haired son. She casually mentioned this book months ago and I was happy to buy it with other gifts for her soon-to-be-big-brother. She says he loves the book and requests it daily. Now hoping the tests are accurate and she does deliver a girl!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Savoiu on August 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this for our daughter just before she got a new baby brother.
She did not mind the reversal and enjoyed the book thoroughly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terri VINE VOICE on July 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a cute book for kids 4-8 years old. It's about a little boy who's mother has a baby girl when he really wanted a brother. He wants to trade her for a boy, but decides that she is wonderful addition to their family. After trying all sorts of tactics of trading her in, and wanting to find a brother, he finds out once again that his mother is yet again expecting. He gets excited when he hears his mom is having another child, but then when she has another girl, he decides that's good enough! This book is a good lesson for kids to know that no matter what your mommy has, it will grow up and love you just the same!
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