Brand-New Baby Blues


The good ol' days are over.
It's official, it's the news!
With my brand-new baby brother came the brand-new baby blues!

When a new baby wears her old pajamas, sleeps in her old bed, and seems to get all her parents' attention, a girl's bound to sing the blues. Is there anything a baby brother can do to change her tune?

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The good ol' days are over.
It's official, it's the news!
With my brand-new baby brother came the brand-new baby blues!

When a new baby wears her old pajamas, sleeps in her old bed, and seems to get all her parents' attention, a girl's bound to sing the blues. Is there anything a baby brother can do to change her tune?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
If Lisa Simpson can sing the blues, why can't a highly reluctant sibling of a new baby brother? Appelt (the Bubba and Beau series) has hold of a great idea here, and her “lyrics” have the requisite driving rhythm. Readers can almost hear a wailing harmonica testifying to the girl's pain: “Now he's wearing my old jammies,/ he sleeps in my old bed,/ he's got my favorite baby bear/ beside his baby head.” But Murphy's (Hush, Little Dragon) illustrations, in gentle textural pastel tones, don't seem to be in on the same joke. While her skills as a colorist and draftsman are never in doubt, her depiction of the heroine and her domestic travails feels innocuous compared with comically down-and-out gestalt of the text. Even when the girl's angst is at its peak (“It makes me sad, it makes me mad,/ it makes me want to roar!”), the accompanying image feels overly literal, and the scene's hospital green palette does nothing to drive home the emotions at play. Appelt is channeling Howlin' Wolf, but Murphy seems content with a whimper. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco
The sprightly young female protagonist in this rollicking tale of new baby woes voices her concerns blues- and poetry-style as she winds her way through the book from sadness, to anger, to grudging acceptance of her new baby brother. There is hope at the end, even if it is a small kind, and the book's realism and honesty about an oft-hyped rite of childhood are refreshing. The book avoids sugarcoating and tells it like it is, from newly busier parents to memories of what once was when there were three instead of four. The shift towards love happens here, but it happens gradually, until, at the end, the narrator actually looks forward to the day when her new brother will finally be able to play with her. This is a book for children who already have a new brother or sister, but children expecting one may be disheartened. While it will not hold the short attention spans of the two-and-under set, the book will captivate children over three who have been there, and this, along with the swaying beat and the cheerful, action-oriented illustrations are some of its chief strengths. Reviewer: Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Through rhyme and three repeating stanzas, a child laments about the good ol' days and realizes, "Now everything is different,/everything is changed./I'm not the one and only./My whole life's rearranged." The normal emotions of sadness, disappointment, jealousy, and anger follow when her parents shower her new brother with attention, pass her stuffed bear down to him, and share the hugs that were once all hers. Then, with just the right words from Mom and Dad about her uniqueness, and some positive observations, her attitude changes. She looks forward to the days when her new sibling will not be a baby anymore, but instead be a brother she can play catch with and a game of hide-and-seek. Oil, acrylic, and gel are used to create gentle hues. What makes this telling of the new brother/sister theme stand out is how well the verses are in sync with the illustrations, layout, and the characters' facial expressions. Great for sharing with a group or one-on-one.—Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A young girl is adjusting to life with her new baby brother. "[T]he good ol' days are over," sings the repeated refrain, "It's official, it's the news! / With my brand-new baby brother / came the brand-new baby blues!" Appelt's catchy, child-friendly text and Murphy's energetic, engaging pictures illustrate her woes, from the golden memories of her days as the only one to her mother's newfound busyness, her father's goofy attempts at entertaining the baby and the unfortunate fragrance of stinky diapers. Funny and concise, the rollicking rhyme bounces along, accepting the frustration natural to the situation, while gently allowing the girl's love of and appreciation for her brother, as well as her anticipation of a future playmate, to gradually shine through. The process is complemented by the illustrations, which modulate in palette from angry blues and greens to sunny yellows, while serene compositions replace off-kilter ones. Older brothers and sisters will easily identify with this jaunty heroine and profit from her realizations-an excellent choice for a new older sibling. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060532338
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/29/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,469,244
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathi Appelt

Kathi Appelt is the award-winning author of many children's books, including Bat Jamboree, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, and Incredible Me!, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Ms. Appelt teaches creative writing to both children and adults and lives in College Station, Texas.

Kelly Murphy is the illustrator of several children's books, including her own The Boll Weevil Ball. Ms. Murphy graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently resides in Massachusetts.

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