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Sophie and the New Baby (Concept Books (Albert Whitman)) Hardcover – October, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Anholts (The Big Book of Families) synchronize the cycle of life with the rhythms of the seasons in this heartwarming book about a new sibling. Young Sophie's new brother arrives amid the first snowfall, and the heroine's mood soon turns just as stormy as the winter weather. When a frustrated Sophie wants to know when the baby is "going back again," her mother informs her, "This baby isn't going back. He's here forever. We can't just put him away like your rag doll." But just as winter changes to spring, so do Sophie's feelings alter toward her brother, and at book's end, she pushes his stroller through a blossoming wood, eagerly anticipating "a whole new year." Laurence Anholt's calm narrative voice and Catherine Anholt's airy, delicate watercolor-and-ink illustrations effectively plumb Sophie's darkest emotions. When, at the book's midpoint, Sophie runs out coatless into a snowstorm, yelling, "I DON'T WANT THAT BABY! I DON'T WANT THAT BABY ANYMORE!" it is a moment of almost breathtaking intensity and catharsis. The Anholts convincingly depict Sophie's maturation, to arrive at the happy conclusionAin which Sophie welcomes her brother as her new playmate. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-In spring, Sophie's father tells her that there will be a new baby in the family when winter comes. As she waits ("Sophie had never waited so long for anything"), the seasons pass until one snowy night her brother is born. She becomes frustrated with his inability to play with her, and resents the time her busy parents spend with him. Time continues to pass and she grows used to her sibling as he becomes more responsive. Come spring, she finds a doll she had lost in the snow and gives it to him. "'I've got you to play with now'-It was the start of a whole new year-for Sophie and the Winter Baby." The changing of the seasons gives great supporting structure and expanded definition to the story-two universal cycles intimately connected. There is a nice rhythm and focus as well, from joy to angst and back again. The bright, attractive, highly detailed illustrations help set a tone of love and acceptance. The pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings flow naturally with the tale using effective, expansive double-page spreads as well as small focused vignettes. Sophie's lonely country life appears isolated yet secure. It's no wonder she's ready for a sibling, someone with whom to share the delights of life.
Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Series: Concept Books (Albert Whitman)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080757550X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807575505
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 10.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By H. Thompson on November 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
We bought this book for our daughter when we were expecting our son. It's the story of a big sister who welcomes a baby brother (the "winter baby"). Most of the books that I looked at on this subject have a very negative angle, but just a brief portion of this story focuses on the challenges and frustrations of becoming a big sister. It shows the great anticipation of the baby through the changing seasons and also accurately depicts life with a new baby today - changing diapers, sitting in a vibrating seat and breastfeeding. In the end, Sophie is the one who teaches her little brother to smile and they become great friends. This is now one of my daughter's favorites!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully sweet book. It shows how a family prepares for the arrival of a new baby, and does an excellent job showing the passage of time, through beautiful illustrations of the seasons. It also addresses the frustrations and anger a young child feels when the new baby gets all of mom and dad's attention. The dialogue is simple and sweet - my almost 3-year-old really liked it and "got" it. I love that it depicts the mother nursing the young infant in a natural way. This is a GREAT book!
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Format: Hardcover
As a mom of a girl about Sophie's age, I have a hard time reading this book without getting teary. It is so well-written and sweet. I love how the story covers the length of the pregnancy...from the Spring in which the parents tell Sophie that a baby is coming, until the following Spring..the end of the "fourth trimester." I also love how it shows the variety of realistic emotions that the older child would feel. The illustrations are wonderful too. My daughter asks me to read this to her, and then we talk about how she will relate to Sophie when her baby sister comes in a few months. I highly, highly recommend this book. I have read a lot of books on this subject, and this is one of the best.
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By A Customer on March 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book depicts a close family season by season as they prepare for, add and adapt to their newest family member. The illustrations are beautiful. The story told from the older sister's point of view is touching.
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Format: Paperback
Sophie and the New Baby is a good story to share with children having trouble getting used to the changes a new baby can bring.

Sophie is an only child who is used to getting a lot of attention from her parents. One spring day, her parents announce that there will be a new member arriving in the family. That baby will be a winter baby. Sophie waits, and waits, and waits. Finally the baby arrives. Sophie is disappointed that the baby cannot play with her. She is even more disappointed when her parents spend all of their time with the baby and not with her. Sophie is sad and lonely. Eventually, with the passage of time, Sophie adjusts and learns to love the little baby.

Catherine Anholt's charming illustrations detail the changing seasons beautifully as Sophie waits for the baby. They also accurately portray the things that occur once the baby arrives: the crying, the nursing, the diaper changes, the holding, the nursing (yes, there are two illustrations of the mom nursing the baby), the growing piles of laundry and dishes...

Sophie and the New Baby gives a young child a good idea of what to expect when a new sibling arrives. It also addresses the negative emotions that can be felt in a reassuring way. This is a very good book to read to an only child who will soon become a big brother or sister.

-Sherry Ellis
Author of That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN
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