Many parents want good books to read to their child or children before the new baby arrives. Now here is a list of some family favorites.
Best-Ever Big Sister and Best-Ever Big Brother by Karen Katz are fun books for very small big siblings. Delightfully illustrated, lift-the-flap books. They are perfect for big sisters or brothers, ages 1 – 3. Grosset & Dunlap. $5.99
I’m a Big Sister and I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole are good small books for small big siblings that provides some information about babies and reassurance that busy new parents still will have time for the big sibling. Each book ends with a note to parents about how to help their older child adjust to his or her new role. Ages 2 – 5. HarperCollins. $6.99.
I Used to be the Baby by Robin Ballard is a good book for a young child who is or will soon become a big brother or sister (perhaps more appropriate for a big brother since the narrator of the book is a boy). The big brother talks about sharing with his baby, but he also notes that sometimes he still likes to be the baby too. And in a loving family, that’s not a problem! Ages 1 to 3. Greenwillow Books. $17.99
There’s Going to be a Baby by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury. This is a wonderful book for big siblings to be who have questions about the new baby. John Burningham’s story, beautifully illustrated by his wife Helen Oxenbury, follows the questions likely to be in the mind of a young child anticipating a baby sibling with excitement and perhaps a bit of trepidation. A good book for ages 2 to 5. Candlewick Press. $16.99
What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best by Laura Numeroff. This is a wonderful flip book by a renowned author-illustrator team that celebrates all the wonderful things that brothers and sisters can do together. After reading what sisters do best, you can flip the book over and enjoy the story from the brother’s perspective! This is a fun follow-up to the best selling What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best and What Grandmas Do Best/What Grandpas Do Best. Ages 2 to 5. Chronicle Books. $15.99
I’m Going to be a Big Sister by Brenda Bercun. This book has stories designed to help prepare older siblings for the arrival of a new baby. By providing discussion prompts, the books help give parents the language needed to speak to their older children about the new arrival. These colorful tales are designed to help prepare older siblings for the arrival of a new baby brother or sister.The books (there is also a second book, I’m Going to be a Big Brother) provide descriptions of what it means to be a big sister or brother. The books also have tip sheets that summarize hints for supporting the older child, and an accompanying musical CD that has catch tunes that emphasize the special bond between brothers and sisters. Ages 3 to 5. Nurturing Your Child Press. $15.95
How to be a Baby by Me, the Big Sister and Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap. This book, written by the big sister, is one of my favorite big sibling books. Big sister knows a lot about babies, like (1) babies don’t read books, they eat them, (2) babies don’t carry backpacks, they go in them; and (3) babies don’t have any teeth at all! But when her baby grows up, she’ll be taller and smarter and big sister will be baby’s best friend! The book has wonderful illustrations and is fun (and funny) to read. Ages 2-5. Schwartz & Wade Books. $16.99
Big Sister Now: A Story About Me and Our New Baby (Also Big Brother Now…)by Annette Sheldon. I like these two books written by preschool specialist and librarian Sheldon. They are particularly good for older siblings who may have some jealousy issues with their younger brother or sister. A note at the end of the book by psychologist and author Jane Annunziata provides guidance on preparing the whole family for the arrival of a new baby, both before and after birth. Ages 2 – 6. Magination Press. $9.95
Once Upon a Baby Brother by Sarah Sullivan is a good book for slightly older siblings (ages 5 – 8). Lizzie loves to make up stories and tell them to everyone, but now that her baby brother, Marvin, has arrived, the only person in the family that has time to listen to her is George, the dog. She’s so full of ideas that it seems like nothing can stop her, but then something does. Lizzie finds inspiration where she least expects it in this delightfully funny book. Ages 5 – 8. Farrar Straus Giroux. $16.99
The Big Sibling Book is a journal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to help your firstborn get psyched about becoming a big sibling! Organized chronologically, this journal is designed to help prepare your child for the new arrival with interviews, sticker activities, and pages for recording Baby’s first. The end result is a precious two-in-one keepsake that captures Baby’s first year and the unique perspective of the new big kid in the family. A great activity book for big siblings, ages 2 – 6 (with a little help from their parents). Random House. $16.99
A Baby Sister for Frances is a really sweet book about a new baby written by the author of Bread and Jam for Frances. When the new baby arrives, no one pays much attention to Frances anymore—at least that’s what Frances thinks. So Frances decides to run away—just far enough so she can hear how much she’ll be missed. This is another wonderful story about this well-loved family of badgers. Ages 4 – 8. HarperTrophy. $6.99
Michael and his New Baby Brother is part of the Helping Hand Books by Sarah, Duchess of York. In this book Michael is not excited when his parents tell him they are expecting a new baby. But, as his parents help him understand what it means to be a big brother, Michael begins to look forward to baby Daniel’s arrival. This is a good book for a boy, ages 4 to 8, who will soon have a baby brother. Sterling. $7.95
Big Sister and Little Sister by Charlotte Zolotow is a lovely story about a little sister who wanders off to be alone and gets lost. Luckily, her big sister comes searching for her, but she can’t find her anywhere. When she finally finds her, she wipes her tears away and they both realize they share a special bond. A good book for siblings, ages 4 – 8. HarperTrophy. $6.99.
Big Sister, Little Sister by Leuyen Pham is another wonderful picture book celebrating the special relationship between two sisters. This is a good book for siblings, ages 4 – 8. Hyperion Books. $15.99