Little brother Nicholas adores big brother James, who serves as a great role model in this story about a loving, and expanding, family.
Nicholas anticipates the day when he won’t have to take naps, and he sees lots of other positive things about growing up as he witnesses James go to school, read, type on Dad’s computer, etc. James is an ideal older sibling: protective, supportive, patient and kind. Together, they look forward to a “special secret” in June, which readers may well figure out before book’s end. The biggest clue comes with James and Nicholas hunched over a sheet of paper covered in girls’ names scrawled in childish handwriting. Nicholas reports, “…my big brother lets me draw the circle around the one we like best.” Closing endpapers reveal that their chosen name is Grace, where their new baby sister’s name is circled and serves as a satisfying conclusion to this sweet family story. Throughout, Dodd’s digital art employs bold line and vibrant color, rendering playful illustrations that match the text’s tone and recall Lauren Child’s and Ken Wilson-Max’s illustration styles.
A fine addition to the extended family of new-baby books, with a welcome nod to the middle child. (Picture book. 3-5)