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Julius, the Baby of the World Hardcover – October, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For children who are facing the arrival of a new sibling, Julius, the Baby of the World makes for great biblio-therapy. At first, big sister Lilly thought it might be fun to have a new baby in the family. But when her parents repeatedly coo, "Julius is the baby of world," Lilly's mouse hackles begin to rise. Soon the jealousy is too much for her, and she embarks on a rejection campaign that is hysterically funny, but also comforting for siblings who probably feel just as much resentment but would never go to Lilly's extremes. Kevin Henkes, creator of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse refuses to shy away from the truly powerful and sometimes dark feelings of children. Through bright watercolors and handwritten, cartoon-style dialogue, Henkes relishes Lilly's wickedness. For example, she delights in insulting her oblivious baby brother: "If you were a food, you'd be a raisin," she whispers into his crib. "If you were a number you'd be zero." When she paints an elaborate family portrait, she leaves Julius out. When she throws a tea party, guess which baby doesn't get an invitation? But when a visiting cousin starts insulting baby Julius, we discover that the flip side of Lilly's intense jealousy is an even more powerful and lasting loyalty. ALA Notable Book, ALA Booklist Children's Editors' Choice, Horn Book Fanfare Honor List, Parent's Choice Honor for Literature. (Baby to Preschool) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

PW commended Henkes for displaying "a deep understanding of sibling rivalry and a child's fragile self-esteem" in this hilarious and refreshing twist on the familiar theme of a new baby in the family. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media; Unabridged edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591125189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591125181
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,886,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lilly, like many children, finds her baby brother doesn't live up to the pre-birth hype. He steals attention from her is what he does.

And she expresses this the way many children do - she uses her words. People claiming that their children never, ever, EVER use words like "hate" or "ugly" or "disgusting" either don't have four year olds (Lilly's approximate age), have blocked that age from their memory, are lying, are lying to THEMSELVES, or have the sweetest, nicest, most wonderful children in existence.

The rest of us live in the real world where four is the age of the potty mouth. Gosh, if I go through a day without hearing "I'm NEVER gonna be your SISTER ever AGAIN" and "I hate you, you're MEAN!" and "You're UGLY and MEAN and I'm gonna PEE ON YOU!" I start feeling foreheads! And of course my two nieces love each other very much (heaven forbid I put one in time-out for antagonizing her sister, it's the other one who whines and tries to convince me it's unnecessary and sneaks around to hand out hugs behind my back!), but like all young children they have big emotions and limited means of expressing them. (Really, I'm just happy they use their words instead of their hands.)

And of course they didn't pick up the words "hate" and "ugly" and "disgusting" from the book, they picked it up from other children and from us - who doesn't say, when they burn their toast for the third time in a row, "Ugh, I hate burned toast"? Who doesn't say, when their kid picks their nose at the table, "Ugh, that's disgusting, go wash off and don't do it again"? Who doesn't say, when they find a bug in the house, "Hey, an ugly bug! Let's put it outside!"? (Who really wants to limit their child's vocabulary and leave them hopeless when they start school?
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Format: Library Binding
Kevin Henkes has written some wonderful books but Juilus steals my passion for reading. Everytime I read this story and act out Lilly's intolerable personality towards her baby brother Julius my students go wild. They especially love the part when Lilly is bending over the crib telling Julius the wrong order of the ABC's and 123's. I plan on buying all of Kevin Henkes books. I already have Chester's Way, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Shelia Rae the Brave, Chrysanthemum, A Weekend With Wendell, and Jessica. He is a great author and his books exhibit his talent.
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Format: Paperback
Well, I actually came to Amazon to rate this book and discovered several negative reviews in doing that. I totally see where these negative reviews are coming from, I really do, BUT, it is a really funny book for the right audience. I don't think it's meant to be taken so seriously, and I suppose, for the younger toddlers, this should not be a book read to them. I wouldn't feel comfortable exposing this to any of my children unless several criteria were met. First, they should be older or mature enough to understand that this is a story, and just that. Second, I would introduce it only if you're confident in the relationships between your children as siblings. I was fortunate to have three sisters who were and are still just crazy about their baby brother, but DO, at times, see him as a pain. They know he's just a baby and babies, by nature, require lots of time and oogling over. My girls saw the humor in Lilly's behavior, they understood it, but never acted on it. I think they understand why an older sibling might not be so fond of a new baby. Yes the story is ridiculous, and if my girls even sort of acted out in the manner Lilly does, I'd probably avoid this story for fear of planting seeds in their heads and seek some therapy. Fortunately, my girls see the humor in it and find it funny because of the extreme nature of Lilly's personality and reaction to a new baby. We absolutely love reading this story to one another and laugh every time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book to use for a vocabulary lesson for my first grade students. The story itself is very cute. It is about a girl who gets a baby brother and doesn't understand why he gets all the attention. This would be great to get for a child who is about to become a first time sibling or loose their youngest in the family position. All Kevin Henkes books are perfect for vocabulary lessons, he typically uses the same style of writing throughout his books. Students love the stories and pictures. I would say every teacher should have a copy in their personal library!
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Format: Paperback
Maybe this book would be a good thing for an older child who could understand that the behavior described in the book might be meant as something funny and not be OK to try, but I don't plan to read it to my 2 1/2 year old. It features a big sister who is having a tough adjustment to a new little brother (so far so good), but it goes into descriptions of a degree of negativity and acting out that I am not really looking to introduce my child to or read about over and over. The new big sister is pictured leaning over the baby's crib saying: "I hate you. You're ugly." In our family, we just don't talk to each other like that. The girl makes up a story for her brother in which she says he is a germ, a zero, like dust under the bed, like dirt...If my child had come up with doing this sort of thing on her own, I'd have to think hard about whether reading a story like this would be helpful. Since she hasn't come up with this kind of behavior, I don't really want to plant the seeds by reading this together. I thought Susan Winter's A Baby Just Like Me was much better, and my daughter loves that book. I also liked Geraldine's Baby Brother.
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