The story is hasty, but its sentiments are sweet.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE DRAGON AND THE NEW BABY

Can Little Dragon get used to the idea of becoming a big brother?

Little Dragon is ambivalent at best when his parents show him their egg and announce that there’s a new baby on the way. “He was definitely not in the mood for company right now,” reads the text on a page that includes artistic Little Dragon’s drawings of his family, which hang on the wall beside a sign with the words “My Room.” His solution is first to cover the egg, which is as big as he is, with blankets. Unsatisfied, he then paints a face on the egg, though it’s unclear why he has this impulse since the picture makes the egg more conspicuous. The drawing also displeases his mother, who brings him a bucket of soapy water and a washcloth. Contrite, Little Dragon scrubs the egg until he hears a loud “CRAAACK.” Lo and behold, not one but two baby dragons emerge from the egg. On seeing how cute they are, Little Dragon has an immediate change of heart and embraces his new siblings. On the final page one baby displays some of its big brother’s artistic sensibility in a humorous twist, and Little Dragon crosses out the word “My” on the sign in his room and replaces it with “OUR.” All the dragons have the same green-and-white coloration and spike patterns, indicating a homogeneous family. As an aspirational title for expectant big siblings, this tale is adequate, but its underdeveloped emotional arc begs unfavorable comparison to such subgenre classics as Julius, the Baby of the World.

The story is hasty, but its sentiments are sweet. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5107-1268-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 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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