A sensitive, introspective 5-year-old contemplates the consequences of having a new sibling in Hartzell’s pleasant debut, complemented by Cave’s sweet illustrations.
Young Noah is the most introspective of his siblings. His oldest brother, Jake, looks destined to become an engineer, and his other brother, Zach, is interested in drawing (and messing up Jake’s Lego towers). Noah observes his family in all their everyday rituals and pays close attention. He counts the chairs at the table and decides that, yes, there will be enough chairs when his new baby sibling arrives. He counts the number of places to sit in the living room: Yes, there will be enough, he thinks. He checks with his mother to confirm that there will be enough beds in their house and also counts the number of seats in the family minivan. When his parents go off to the hospital, however, Noah is still worried. What might be in short supply? Parents will likely guess the answer long before their children do: Noah’s worried that his mother might not have enough love for all her children. After giving birth, his mother explains, with a colorful, hand-drawn diagram of a heart, that with each new child, her love has only grown—there’s room for them all. It’s a message that will be particularly comforting for children expecting a new brother or sister. Although the text is dense for a kids’ book, Hartzell does a good job of giving Noah a simple, yet satisfying, answer to his question. The style of Cave’s illustrations is largely realistic, reflecting little of Noah’s anxiety, beyond his pensive expression. Some illustrations are set at strange angles (one looks down at the dining room table from above, for example), but overall, they’re child-friendly and match the story’s calm tone.
A comforting book about welcoming a new baby into the family.