Book Review: How to Be a Baby… by Me the Big Sister

Rating: ★★★★☆

Books on welcoming a new sibling abound, many heartwarming, many boring, most dealing with sibling rivalry — and only a few of them are truly funny.  In this engaging volume, a newly-promoted big sister speaks to her new brother, outlining rather sympathetically what it’s like to be him.  There are fewer opportunities: “When you’re a baby, people eat your ice cream for you, because ice cream isn’t appropriate for babies.”  There are restrictions: “You don’t sit on a chair.  You are tied to it.  Or you fall off and bang your head and scream and have to go to bed.”  She contrasts  his limitations with her own abilities, looking forward to the time when he will be old enough to copy everything she does.  The speaker’s self-satisfied superiority is conveyed with humor, but the speaker seriously acknowledges her brother’s dependence on others, and she responds to his vulnerability with a protective tenderness.

Lloyd-Jones does a masterful job capturing a child’s voice and perspective, and Heap’s whimsical artwork perfectly complements the lighthearted mood of the text.  This is a wonderful portrayal of a positive sibling relationship, providing an example for older siblings to emulate without being at all moralistic. It’s appropriate for preschoolers and an elementary audience, and adults will enjoy it too.


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Publication Information: Lloyd-Jones, Sally. How to Be a Baby... By Me, the Big Sister. Heap, Sue (Illustrator). Schwartz & Wade Books. 2007. ISBN: 0375873880.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08
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Posted on February 9, 2013

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