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on May 13, 2012
[This review also appears on Andi's Kids Books.]

In Big Sisters Are the Best by Fran Manushkin, the little girl telling the story has a new baby in her family. She explains the differences between being a baby and being the big sister and how she can be a helper to her parents. For young children who are about to become the older sister, these are important points to understand. Some of the help that the big sister offers is playing quiet board games or doing gymnastics outside so that they baby can sleep. It's hard when Mom and Dad are busy with the baby, but she has her own baby doll for which she can care. When the baby is settled, she can still have some of that quality one-on-one time with her parents. She looks forward to when her baby is older and can also play with her.

I like that this book gently acknowledges that sometimes it can be hard for the big sister when her parents have to spend time with the baby, instead. Even though she knows they had to do the same for her when she was a baby, it is still a big change. I like that she offers advice on ways that a big sister can help. I also like the subtle reminder to parents that it is important to make some special time for that older child. So many times it is easy to get caught up in the baby's immediate needs that you forget the older sibling needs a little TLC, as well.

Because the characters have no name, it is easier for the reader to imagine herself in the situation of having a new baby. The illustrations make the baby look like a boy, but no reference to the baby's sex is made. Again, that makes it a more relatable story for the reader.

The story is short and sweet. The illustrations are darling. This is a book that families can enjoy with their children again and again.

I received a preview set of galleys from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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on February 16, 2012
Bringing a new baby into the home is a time of smiles and smells, hugs and kisses. Author Fran Manushkin celebrates this special milestone with a sweet story that shows that there is plenty of love for everyone, big sister and all.

This cute little story can help an older sibling understand her role when a new brother or sister arrives home. Narrated by Big Sister in short, straight to the point sentences, she tells us what life is like with her new baby sibling. We learn the baby's needs, Big Sister's responsibilities with the baby, and her parents' role in both of their lives.

Big Sister also tells us the differences between herself and the baby. The baby sleeps in a crib, but she sleeps in a regular bed. The baby drinks from a bottle and she gets cupcakes. Big Sister knows there is enough love to go around and she will get her parent's attention. Until it is her turn for that undivided attention, Big Sister shows us what she does to occupy her time.

The little narrator is a happy child who clearly understands her role and the baby's needs. If I had this situation in my home, this would be a wonderful book to have. My daughter could learn the dos and don'ts of being the older child. The little narrator explains all of this with joy and big smiles. The illustrations are colorful and have a Charlie Brown feel to them with the large heads and small features.

This is a balanced view of the responsibilities and the joys of being a big sister. It also makes a point of telling us the love and attention from the parents has not changed. The only thing that has changed in this big sister's life is her family love, which has increased by one. If you have a little girl about to become a big sister, this is a good book to introduce her to life with baby.

Note: received from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
Originally reviewed at KidLitReviews.
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on February 26, 2013
This is an uplifting and fun book, that will surely make many new big sisters smile. That being said, not every big sister sleeps in a big girl bed yet, and not every baby drinks milk from bottles. My "big sis" is still in her crib, and I breastfeed exclusively. The bed thing isn't that big of a deal, as it isn't hard to just say "you'll be in your big girl bed soon!". As for the bottle feeding, that can be explained too, but it would be so nice to find a book that illustrates BOTH bottle and breastfeeding babies, to include a broader audience. This isn't a knock on bottle feeding, btw. Just a heads-up to other exclusively breastfeeding mamas that there is absolutely no representation of it in this book.
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on April 28, 2015
I was hesitant on what book to get for my 6 year old stepdaughter. I am having her baby brother and wanted to get a book that she could read to her brother and help her transition from being the only child to being a big sister. A lot of other books had reviews that said the books sort of spoke badly about the baby - how babies are stinky and cry too much and can't have any fun. I didn't want to get anything that left a negative impression on a child regarding her sibling. This book is very positive. No baby bashing here!
This book does a lovely job of telling a story from the child's perspective. How the older sister can be helpful and also learn to play on her own and be quiet when baby is sleeping, how to be a good big sister. The only "downside" for me was the talking about Mommy and Daddy and how they took care of the big sister when she was a baby - and this was only a downside for me because I'm a stepmother - there are no pictures of me with my stepdaughter as a baby because I wasn't in their life yet. Not the fault of the book, but worth noting for any step parents who may want to be aware of it before buying it for their children. It will not deter me from giving this book to my stepdaughter, though.
Also, my stepdaughter and my son are both mixed babies, so the fact that the children are tan/brown was a nice touch as well!
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on May 30, 2013
I bought this for my 6 year old who became a big sister and she loved it! I thought it would be an easy read for her but I bought it anyway and although it is an easy read for her, the story is just too cute. She enjoyed it and all I wanted was for her to feel special and get used to the idea of becoming a big sister and this book definitely helped. I recommend the book to any age group under the age of 7.
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on August 4, 2013
We purchased a couple of big sister/sibling books, and of the ones we did, this was was one of the favorites for our 2-year-old. Simple text and pictures that talk about what babies do and what big sisters can do.
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on February 28, 2013
I bought this book for my daughter (7 yrs.)who just became a big sister for the first time. It is the sweetest story. I bought it really as a keepsake for her from her new baby sister. She loved how everything they mentioned in the story was just like her and her baby sister, she carried around all day and showed everyone who would look!
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on October 11, 2013
I am pregnant and decided to purchase this to ease the transition with the arrival of the new baby. My daughter loves this book (18 months old) and we read it every night. She points out various objects and likes to pat her own back on the page where it shows Big Sister patting Baby's back.
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on February 28, 2016
This is a great book. It is a very sweet story. However it is definitely for a big sister who is older than 2 yrs old. It would not mean anything to this age group. i would recommend getting it and saving for a sister of 3 yrs and above.
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on December 30, 2012
I highly recommend this book. It's very sweet and very positive. I bought this for my four year old daughter who's about to be a big sister. We are expecting a boy any day now. I wanted a book that had a positive message and didn't have any negative feelings attached to having a sibling enter the family dynamic. This is the book.
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