How to Be a Baby...by Me, the Big Sister

( 11 )

Overview

The New York Times praised this best-selling picture book as "adorable, original, well-illustrated and fabulous." In this first book in the How-To Series (which includes How To Get Married and How to Get a Job), the know-it-all big sister narrator tells it like it is: When you're a baby you don't read books. You eat them. You don't know how old you are, or even if you're a boy or a girl. And you have to keep a special plug in your mouth to stop your scream from coming out. But one day, you won't be little ...

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How to Be a Baby . . . by Me, the Big Sister

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Overview

The New York Times praised this best-selling picture book as "adorable, original, well-illustrated and fabulous." In this first book in the How-To Series (which includes How To Get Married and How to Get a Job), the know-it-all big sister narrator tells it like it is: When you're a baby you don't read books. You eat them. You don't know how old you are, or even if you're a boy or a girl. And you have to keep a special plug in your mouth to stop your scream from coming out. But one day, you won't be little anymore, and then you'll be taller and smarter, and actually quite clever. Like the narrator. And you'll be able to share memories of what it was like when you were little with your incredible Big Sister.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review, The New York Times Book Review, December 2, 2007:
"An ultracharming picture book."

Starred review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2007:
"There's plenty to pore over in the detail-rich scenes, and the childlike but deft lines match the text's exuberance . . . This is perfect family fare and a welcome departure from storybooks that assume the worst when a new life joins the family."

Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books
*Starred Review* The child perspective is spot on; it is clear that the baby is missing out on all the wonderful things in life that are at the center of the six-year-old world. What is most successful about the story is the original take on sibling relations; it doesn't overtly address resentment or jealousy or adjustment issues (though this will be a great salve for kids struggling with these issues), but humorously acknowledges that babies and kids are different and can do different things...This is perfect family fare and a welcome departure from storybooks that assume the worst when a new life joins the family.
Booklist
*Starred Review* There are lots of books about kids and the babies they must endure, teach, and love, but few get the interaction down as perfectly as this marvelous melding of knowing observations and funny, sunny, on-the-money art. The narrator, a little blonde girl, has a long list of things that babies can't do. Go to school? No--stuck in a crib. Eat normal food? No--yucky baby food. Thinking of things that are inappropriate for babies reminds the girl of the many ways in which she's superior: babies don't have any real friends, but she has lots. The tall format offers plenty of room for the sweet, saucy, child-appealing watercolors, some looking as though they were created by the child herself; certainly the lines and squiggles on a few of the pages enhance that feel. Lists also cleverly adorn many of the pages, with headings such as "Things Babies Do That Are Illegal" (poop on the carpet). But in a heartwarming ending, Sister lists things that are nice about being a baby (people don't tell you to stop being a baby because you are one) and envisions the happy day when her brother gets big enough to follow her around, learn from her, and play with her friends (sometimes). With lots to look at, think about, and giggle at, this book will get many readings. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
—Ilene Cooper
The New York Times
Sue Heap's illustrations complement the text in just the right way, and I can't imagine it looking any other way. In other words, this book is adorable, original, well-illustrated and fabulous.
&3151;Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Publishers Weekly

All the things that a baby needs to know—and more importantly, all the things that a big sister does know—are covered in this re-teaming of Lloyd-Jones and Heap (previously paired for Handbag Friends). Many of the observations take the form of handwritten lists, such as the one titled, "Here's what else you don't know," which includes entries such as "Any secrets/ Any jokes/ How to make a snowman/ Anything." But while these authentically snarky remarks effectively underscore the narrator's fragile sense of importance and maturity, the winsome, girly-hued watercolor-and-ink illustrations make clear that home is still a happy, secure place for everyone. And sure enough, the emotional tone of the book turns warmer midway through the book, as the bond between the newly minted siblings deepens. Readers see the girl comforting the baby in the middle of the night ("Don't worry, Baby Dumpling, it's just a scary dream") and simply savoring her cuteness (Heap shows the baby dressed in several undeniably adorable Halloween costumes). The final pages jump ahead a few years and find both children so close that they can share nostalgia for "the olden days when you were a baby"—a suitably sweet ending for this tribute to the way love grows. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3
"When you're a baby, you are in a crib and not in school," according to a worldly wise big sister, who reads from a book she has written for her new sibling. She itemizes a long list of things that babies cannot do, including play with her toys, sit in a car "like a normal person," or "have ANY pillows on your bed." Although she tends to focus on the negatives, in the end the unnamed protagonist admits that babies have some uses. She tells her brother that babies are "good at hugging" and "people smile at you because you're so small." She also describes what life will be like when he gets bigger, looking forward to the day when they will "laugh and point at pictures of you in the olden days when you were a baby." The comical cartoons subtly convey the love that the rosy-cheeked girl feels for her round, placid sibling despite his limited abilities. The text and illustrations are scattered across each page in varying patterns. Heap uses acrylic paint, crayon, and felt-tip pen in a pleasing palette of pinks, blues, and yellows to enhance the story with childlike charm. This amusing title could be paired with Amy Schwartz's humorous Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner (Scholastic, 1991). For a more poignant look at sibling relationships, young readers might prefer Shirley Hughes's Annie Rose Is My Little Sister (Candlewick, 2003).
—Linda L. WalkinsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A precocious big sister enumerates the discommodious nature of babyhood in this sassy tale. With unreserved glee, big sister dishes on the many pitfalls her younger sibling must endure. Included in her diatribe are hilarious asides that extol-naturally-her own superior position as the independent oldest. While Lloyd-Jones begins her story on a comical note, she deftly conveys the angry/wistful tumult of emotions children often feel when confronted with the arrival of a new addition. The acerbic tone of the older sibling may at times seem a bit much, but her wry musings are on target: Of the drawbacks of an infant carrier, she states "When you're a baby, / you don't carry a backpack. / You go in one." Midway through her baby rant, the older sister's monologue begins to convey softer, more poignant reflections, and the tale concludes on a fond note. Heap's acrylic-and-crayon illustrations feature pastel hues. Her comic-book-style sketches artfully capture the spunk of the older sister, while her use of the scrapbook-like lists, further detailing a baby's shortcomings, "written" by the sister, add both humor and interest. A perfect antidote to the new-baby blues for siblings. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375838439
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/13/2007
  • Series: How to Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 250,999
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.95 (w) x 11.84 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Lloyd-Jones

Sally Lloyd-Jones is the author of the popular How-To Series: How to Be a Baby, How to Get Married, and How to Get a Job. She is also the author of Being a Pig is Nice and Handbag Friends. She lives in New York.

Sue Heap is the illustrator of the How-To Series by Sally Lloyd-Jones: How to Be a Baby, How to Get Married, and How to Get a Job. She is also the author-illustrator of Cowboy Baby, which won the Smarties Gold Award in the picture book category. She lives in England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    Adorable

    I love, love this book! I got it at a baby shower for my second baby, and my older daughter just ate it up. The big sister is sassy and boisterous, and just when you think she may be a little over the top, she turns delightfully sweet. It's just plain adorable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Two for two

    Because my 2.5 year old daughter loved "How to Get Married...by Me, the Bride," I thought she'd enjoy this title as well. I was right, she loves it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    Not impressed

    I know the intensions were good but I think this book overdoes it with regards to making the big sister look good! I find I skip a lot of the text when I read it to my daughter as it's actually more negative than good!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Love it!!

    This book is adorable and perfect for an about-to-be-big-sister. I've purchased this as a gift for several different little girls and they've all loved it. It kind of goes through a youngsters confusing emotions when a younger sibling arrives, but I love how it ends with showing how important the siblings are going to be to each other. So cute!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Love it!

    My kids love this book! They giggle the entire way through. We have read it so much they have memorized the text. I would recommend it for all - even boys who love the "potty" words!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

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