What to expect when mommy’s done expecting.
While the bulk of new-baby books zero in on the infant in utero, Rusch’s informs siblings about what goes down after the arrival. Narrating from their own experience, light-skinned siblings Anna and Oliver provide a practical guide to everything a new sibling will need to know about the baby. Whether it’s the baby’s initial appearance (“red, wrinkly skin with little bumps all over her face”), its limited mobility and facial expressions, or umbilical stumps, Rusch keeps the tone lighthearted and original (no small matter in a market glutted with new-baby fare). The kids’ narration works as a purely practical template for kids curious about how their lives will change. Backmatter includes bibliographies and tips for parents on how best to meet the needs of those children that feel jealous of the baby. In keeping with the book’s humor and general good cheer, Leng’s spirited watercolors bring both the chaos and the charm of babies to vibrant life. Occasional missteps, as when the book fails to clearly distinguish between a mother’s internal “baby compartment” and “where ice cream and bananas and yogurt go,” do not diminish the book’s worth as a whole.
Expect older kids to go gaga over this informative little guide. (Picture book. 4-7)