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How wonderful it is to be a big sister
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.