A warm if at times stilted celebration of all things big girl.

READ REVIEW

I'M BIG NOW!

Rhyming text and exuberant art follow a little girl in an interracial family getting used to her status as big sister.

The narrator has brown skin and tightly curled black hair in small braids with bows. Her mother and baby brother share her skin color and hair texture, but her father, her grandmother, and a friend are white. Race is unmentioned in the text, which introduces the girl’s “baby big girl game,” in which she playfully regresses and tries to wear her old baby clothes and squeeze into her baby bed. Her parents lovingly affirm her big-girl status, and while she seems a bit conflicted, other spreads show her decided enjoyment at doing things her baby brother cannot. Several British words and phrases (“Mummy” and “nappy,” for example) are retained in the American edition of this picture book; this cultural specificity adds to its appeal, though there are times when the rhyme doesn’t work particularly well, and it never seems essential to the book’s success. A child’s narration is often difficult to achieve without a sense of adult ventriloquism, and the rhyme makes this yet more fraught.

A warm if at times stilted celebration of all things big girl. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-3947-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A must-read for mothers of young children (and their kids, too).

MAMA NEEDS A MINUTE

The story shows all of the ways a mother loves and cares for her children while also needing to take care of herself.

Sloan writes what mothers feel: “This mama needs a minute.” There are books that prepare children for their first day of school, potty training, siblings, and many of life’s earliest milestones. In that tradition, Sloan’s book shows kids how mothers can both love and care for them and also need a little space. She writes, “It doesn’t mean I love you less. Sometimes it just means Mama needs to get dressed.” Truer words have never been written. Sloan simultaneously affirms a mother’s love while also deftly explaining that it’s OK for love to need boundaries—for parents, yes, but also for kids. The comics-style illustrations hit home, like the stubble-legged mama trying to snag a minute to shower. This goes beyond ringing chords with adult readers; it also provides concrete examples of when mama needs that minute. The palette includes pinks, greens, and bright blues, and all of the characters have skin of many nonhuman colors; hair is likewise fancifully colored but always straight. Many of the moms have visible tattoos, a refreshingly realistic detail.

A must-read for mothers of young children (and their kids, too). (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5248-5457-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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