There’s a lot to like in this book about all things “big kid.”
The first-person voice seamlessly shifts from one spread to another, attributing itself to characters of different races and genders. A pattern emerges through page design that shows a baby on the verso with text starting “When I was a baby…” and an older child on the recto with text reading “NOW I’M BIG” and expounding on how he or she can now do things that were impossible during babyhood. Katz’s signature, colorful, stylized characters rendered in watercolor and gouache romp through the pages, culminating with a little girl reveling in her new status as big sister to the new baby in her family. Earlier, one scene showing a baby in a playpen (who grows up to run around the park with friends) might seem a bit dated given rising concerns about the safety of such baby gear, but the real safety no-no comes at book’s end when the aforementioned big sister jumps on her bed while holding the tiny new baby by the arms. It’s a joyful scene, to be sure, but the sight of a teddy bear falling off the bed as the sisters spring up and down bespeaks a doubtlessly unintended sense of peril in this otherwise gentle book.
Faux pas aside, it’s a sweet celebration of leaving baby days behind. (Picture book. 2-5)