It's time for We Recommend, in which readers ask for suggestions, and we try our very hardest to come up with the perfect book in answer (and then you guys come up with even more amazing choices in the comments). Looking for a recommendation? E-mail us! We're very agreeable.
Today's query really resonated with me, because…well, check it out.
I'm currently pregnant with my second, a little boy, and have at 2.5 year old little girl. We love to read together, and I would love to read her some books about new babies to help her prepare. My problem is, all the books I seem to find deal with the jealousy issue, which I know will arise, but I don't want to plant the seed unnecessarily. She seems to be influenced by the books we read, incorporating them into her play, so I don't feel like Julius, Baby of the World is the right book right now. Once, the baby is here, and I see that she is feeling jealous, I'm happy to delve into the literary world of sibling rivalry, but would like to wait until it is an actual issue and read more stories that celebrate the role of older sister. So far, she's enjoyed the Mercer Meyer's The New Baby, I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole, and A New Baby for Francis.
I remember this phenomenon! When I gave birth to the inimitable Chestnut, everyone wanted to give me books for Diana about the inevitable rage/pain/envy she was going to feel, and I remember thinking, "She's going to get there, people. Must we rush it?"
I mean, yes, it's terribly traumatic and all of that and, as my husband's older brother famously suggested, "We are not supposed to hit him, or kick him, or cut him up in a million pieces like bread. We are supposed to love him!" We all feel the painful truth of these words. But! There's more than just that, and it's a great thing to let a kid explore the rest of the possibilities, in a book at least.
And, of course, the reason I am so please to be writing about this is that for once, I think I have the right book! Yes, yes, I knw you will all have even more excellent suggestions. But this one is so good! Here we go:
Please forgive the Amazon image, I couldn't find a better one and have given our copy away long ago.
This book is so freaking happy. It's got many excellent things going for it, chief among them is that it provides a very realistic image of the mom, who is always messy and disorganized and tired and in a bathrobe, or has food in her hair, but basically looks happy. The house is a disaster and the kids don't have matching socks, but everyone works it out, and the big sister in this case spends a whole lot of time bragging about all the stuff she can do in a very catchy sort of rhyming sing-song, and then it ends (spoiler alert!) with her saying, "And do you know what I'll do? I'll teach every one of these things to you." And if you're a sucker like me, or just very, very sleep-deprived, you will get a tear in your eye every time you read that part. This was just an excellent, winning book.
But Lord how I do go on and on. I've given it my best shot. Let's see what you guys have got in the comments.