Baby for Grace

Baby for Grace

by Christian Birmingham
     
 

When her parents bring home their new baby, Grace must adjust to a new presence in the household. Any soon-to-be sibling -- and of course, any parent expecting the arrival of a newborn -- will find the simple, rhythmic text easy to identify with and a joy to read aloud. Friends and relatives will find this tenderly illustrated book the ideal new baby gift they have

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Overview

When her parents bring home their new baby, Grace must adjust to a new presence in the household. Any soon-to-be sibling -- and of course, any parent expecting the arrival of a newborn -- will find the simple, rhythmic text easy to identify with and a joy to read aloud. Friends and relatives will find this tenderly illustrated book the ideal new baby gift they have been searching for.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Young Grace is told "no" one too many times when the new baby arrives. Although told in third person, Whybrow's (Quacky Quack-Quack!) sure, simple story concisely evokes the girl's point of view: "Grace said the baby was nice but it had a fat head. All the people said, No Grace, the baby's head is beautiful." The absence of quotation marks can be confusing, especially in that some speech is presented as dialogue and some is paraphrased. Whybrow creates subtle verbal patterns, frequently repeating the girl's name (rather than using "she"). Birmingham's (Butterfly Lion) soft, light-splashed artwork is closely observed, realistic (only Grace's huge, wide-set eyes seem exaggerated) and remarkably expressive. As Grace's efforts to please backfire, her hurt feelings can be read in her face; when she finally hears "yes," her beaming smile fills the page. Grace's emotions don't extend to serious jealousy: praise when she brings the baby some flowers is enough to mend her hurt feelings. But they don't feel trivial, either. Due to both writer and artist, readers will warm to this well-intentioned, sensitive little person. Ages 2-5. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The new baby brings with it a steady stream of "no's" for Grace. She struggles to be helpful and "wants the people to say "Ah yes!" to her like they do to her new baby. A final attempt to be noticed results in one more "no". Grace is reduced to wails of protest louder than her new sibling's. And she finally gets the kind of attention she desires. This sibling book for the very young expresses the mix of emotions for those too young to have the words.
Children's Literature - Tina Hudak
Young Grace longs to participate with the adults who are preparing for the arrival of her baby sister. Every interaction is seen from her perspective. From her simple desires to help decorate the baby's room, to her failed attempt to give flowers to the baby, readers are given insight to her emotions. The impact of the adult actions is keenly felt through simple, but poignant dialogue, as in "Grandpa said, 'No Grace, don't open the package yet. Wait for the baby. He gave her some shiny pennies, but they were not the same." The story realistically portrays this experience, from the benign neglect of the older sibling to the eventual acknowledgment of her role in the family, and it creates a feeling of empathy for the child. The design and illustrations in this picture book invite young reader participation through recognizable scenes and legible text. Soft pastel drawings fill the pages and emphasize the sensitive story. A portrait captures Grace's interior world in the subtle facial expressions. Small, detailed charcoal drawings accompany the larger illustrations, thereby offering another intimate look into the dynamics at play. This is a wonderful book for any child who goes through the pull of welcoming a new sibling and offers insight to adults regarding a child's feelings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780753451427
Publisher:
Kingfisher
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.61(w) x 10.18(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 3 Years

Meet the Author

Christian Birmingham is an acknowledged star of children's book illustration. Christian collaborated with Ian Whybrow on Kingfisher's acclaimed A Baby for Grace. He has been nominated for the prestigious Mother Goose Award and has been described in Britan's Guardian newspaper as "a modern-day Degas."

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