Books for Welcoming a New Baby
Options for both first-time parents and growing families
Whether you’re a first-time parent bringing home a newborn or introducing a new sibling into an already bustling family, consider incorporating some of these children’s books into your summer reading lists.
In “Monkey Not Ready for the Baby” (Alfred A. Knopf, 32 pages, $16.99), author Marc Brown, best known for his “Arthur” books and the “Arthur” TV show, tells the story of Monkey, who is upset about a new baby disrupting his close family of four. Despite the extensive measures his older brother and parents take to convince Monkey that being a big brother is exciting and rewarding, he is still reluctant to view the change as positive. In the end, we see Monkey cradling his new baby sister and offering his sippy cup to her to show her that love is what all family members — and especially babies — need. This story was written for ages 3-7.
In “Raisin, the Littlest Cow” (Balzer & Bray, 22 pages, $17.99), author Miriam Busch and award-winning illustrator Larry Day tell the story of Raisin, a cow who “has a lot of favorite things, but change is NOT one of them.” Needless to say, Raisin’s world turns upside down when her mom has a new baby and she is no longer the youngest cow constantly doted upon. Suddenly, Raisin finds herself growing to love and appreciate her new brother when, in the midst of a rainstorm, she realizes her brother’s eyes are her favorite color and she learns how to make him giggle. This story was written for ages 4-8.
In “Splat and the New Baby” (HarperCollins, 40 pages, $17.99), New York Times best-selling author Rob Scotton writes about how utterly excited Splat the Cat is when he finds out he’s going to be a big brother. At first, we see Splat fixing up the nursery and making to-do lists to get ready, but when Splat’s mom brings home a baby crocodile, whom they name Urgle, Splat isn’t sure he’ll be up to the task. This book teaches kids valuable lessons about how to adapt to unexpected circumstances as Splat’s mom explains that Urgle is visiting while his parents are on vacation, and that they must make the little crocodile feel comfortable in their home. Splat learns how to become a great big brother and, in the end, gets a rewarding surprise. This story was written for ages 4-8.
For parents who choose to adopt, Silvia Lopez’s “Just Right Family: An Adoption Story” (Albert Whitman & Company, 32 pages, $16.99), approaches what can be a complex subject from a young child’s perspective. The author, a retired librarian who was born in Cuba and moved to Miami when she was 10, writes about 6-year-old Meili, who was adopted from China. Meili’s parents tell her they are adopting again — this time a baby from Haiti named Sophie. Meili is upset, feeling her family is perfect the way it is. One night, Meili puts her new sister to bed and tells her the story about how she came from a place called Haiti, and that their parents flew over the ocean to get her. This story, which teaches acceptance, responsibility, the importance of interracial family bonding and the idea that change can be scary, but good, was written for ages 3-5.
Elizabeth Lincicome is a mother, communications expert and freelance writer based in Raleigh.
Book covers courtesy of their respective publishers.