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DEAR BABY by Sarah Sullivan


Letters from Your Big Brother

by Sarah Sullivan, illustrated by Paul Meisel

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2126-9
Publisher: Candlewick

Presented in the form of a scrapbook, a series of notes, letters and drawings from an older brother to his new sibling traces her life from a few weeks before her birth (a print of her sonogram) until her first birthday. It’s a clever idea, as Mike includes drawings of his favorite toy action figure, family portraits and even Erica’s infant footprints. He goes through defined stages, from resenting the attention Erica gets, to defending her perfection to his friend Rishi, who also has a new baby sister, Maya. Scrawled commentary appears in the margins of the letters, too, as Mike notes “things that babies shouldn’t eat” (worms, toys, my hand!) and “things that you will need when you go to school” (lunch, backpack, notebook). It ends with an overly didactic note (a birthday card with a message inside), but Meisel’s mixed-media pictures are cheerful and engaging and the idea makes this a worthwhile addition to the burgeoning shelf on the topic. (Picture book. 4-8)