I Can't Talk Yet, but When I Do...

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Everyone knows babies can't talk, but if they could, they'd have a lot to thank their older siblings for — whether it's giving them extra licks of an ice cream cone, teaching them songs to sing, or not letting them put sand in their mouths. This big thank-you of a book is sure to add an extra layer of appreciation to any sibling relationship. Julie Markes's sweet text and Laura Rader's humorous illustrations will delight the entire family.

A baby recites the ...

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Overview

Everyone knows babies can't talk, but if they could, they'd have a lot to thank their older siblings for — whether it's giving them extra licks of an ice cream cone, teaching them songs to sing, or not letting them put sand in their mouths. This big thank-you of a book is sure to add an extra layer of appreciation to any sibling relationship. Julie Markes's sweet text and Laura Rader's humorous illustrations will delight the entire family.

A baby recites the benefits of having an older sibling for sharing, fun, and love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although many youngsters will fervently assert that being the sibling of a baby is a thankless job, Markes (Good Thing You're Not an Octopus!) and Rader (Santa's New Suit) comically and effectively counsel patience with this extended thank-you note from a pre-verbal, anthropomorphized baby mouse to his older sister. "I can't talk yet, but when I do,/ I'll say thank you for helping to take care of me" accompanies an illustration of the baby happily flinging the goo his sister attempts to feed him. The youngster even promises to acknowledge (albeit with some qualification) that his mischievousness may be less than adorable, as when he's caught blithely munching on a picture of a princess while his sister sobs in her mother's arms ("I'll tell you that it was an accident when I tore/ the painting you brought home from school"). The team's keen yet understated gift for domestic humor keeps the conceit from becoming cloying; at the same time, they subtly underscore the competence, achievements and vital role of the older child (in one vignette, the sister stars in the school play, in another she shoos the baby away from an electrical outlet). Smart and sympathetic, this tale offers a strong note of encouragement to new older siblings. Ages 3-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A baby mouse-child recounts the ways s/he will pay homage to the older sibling once she can speak: "I can't talk yet, but when I do, I'll say thank you for helping to take care of me." The energetic illustrations depict the siblings in all too common situations as the older child entertains and helps the baby while frequently the parents look on patiently. The sweetness of some of the scenes is offset by a car ride where baby licks the ice cream cone unbeknownst to the older child, as well as an ear-pulling incident. All is well that ends well as final page shows the two mice snuggling in bed sharing a picture book as the baby says I love you." The sprightly illustrations aptly show the full range of emotions on the faces of all the characters. This is a warm and reassuring look at a loving sibling relationship, and would be a wonderful book to share with an older child who has a new baby in the house. 2003, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 3 to 6.
— Micki S. Nevett
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Markes cleverly gives voice to a mouse toddler that plans to thank its older sibling for sharing playthings and ice cream, being good company, tolerating a pull on the ear, etc.: "I can't talk now, but when I do, the thing I'll want to say most of all is I love you." Rader's whimsical illustrations are uncluttered and surrounded by lots of white space. They depict lively children, attuned parents, and typical childhood scenarios that include food tossed from a high chair onto the kitchen floor. On the last spread, a doting mother and father watch from the doorway as their offspring read Good Night, Mouse. The frustrations of an older child are addressed while the bond between the siblings grows stronger in this simple, endearing read-aloud that has broad appeal.-Sandra Kitain, Abrams Hebrew Academy, Yardley, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An exclamation of affection for an older sister from a baby who can’t talk just yet, so readers will have to take the author’s modestly overcooked word for it. Tenderhearted watercolors accompany this love letter to an older sibling, in which the young recipient details all the fine qualities of the older child. "I can’t talk yet, but when I do, I’ll say thank you for helping to take care of me," a baby mouse declares to its sister. Also for making the baby laugh, sharing toys, and helping the baby to walk, keeping an eye out for the child, and making bath time so much fun. Rader has sharply etched all the situations and keeps the text just this side of sickly sweet. Then again, this story is an exercise in the kind of reflection that often goes begging, one that points out the thankful instead of the hurtful. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060099220
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/14/2003
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Markes lives with her husband, Eric Schine, and their two sons, Charlie and Nicholas, in Brooklyn, New York. Her books include Thanks For Thanksgiving; I Can't Talk Yet, But When I Do ...; Good Thing You're Not An Octopus!; Sidewalk 123; and Sidewalk.

Laura Rader has illustrated many popular books for children, including A Book of Hugs, A Book of Friends, and A Book of Kisses, all by Dave Ross. She is also the author and illustrator of Who'll Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight? and Santa's New Suit, which Publishers Weekly called, in a starred review, a "holiday outing [with] plenty of panache." Ms. Rader lives in Southern California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2004

    A Wonderful Ode to Older Siblings from a Grateful Baby!

    Told from the perspective of a baby, this ode to older siblings is a great antidote for the older sibling who is feeling neglected or otherwise having difficulty adjusting to their younger sibling(s). For the younger sibling, it also reinforces the value and benefits of the attention and love provided by an older sibling(s). Here, a pre-verbal young mouse ¿talks¿ to herself about all of the things she wants to say to her sister when she learns to speak understandable sentences. Pictures show the older sister patiently, sometimes reluctantly, helping her younger sister in a number of ways while the younger one ¿talks¿ about them gratefully. This includes the older sister feeding the younger one, sharing toys and treats, entertaining and playing with her, helping her learn to walk and sing songs and protecting her. The younger sister wants to more than merely thank her sister for all these things. She also plans to apologize to her for all of the mischief and trouble the she has caused her. Again, these misadventures are shown in accompanying illustrations. Told in very sparse text set against simple, comical illustrations, the pages leave lots of blank space for resting young eyes. Recommended for all children aged 2 to 6 and highly recommended for those with younger siblings.

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