Mission: New Baby by Susan Hood, Mary Lundquist |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Mission: New Baby

Mission: New Baby

by Susan Hood, Mary Lundquist

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Greetings, Special Agent! You’ve accepted the mission: you’re going to be a big sibling! This is your super-secret guide to training your family’s newest recruit. There will be lots to do, like leading physical training (teaching your sibling to walk) and sharing intel (reading together), but we know you’re up for the challenge. Best of


Greetings, Special Agent! You’ve accepted the mission: you’re going to be a big sibling! This is your super-secret guide to training your family’s newest recruit. There will be lots to do, like leading physical training (teaching your sibling to walk) and sharing intel (reading together), but we know you’re up for the challenge. Best of luck, Agent! This is HQ, signing off. Over and out!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
How do you defuse the emotional upheaval of a new baby’s arrival? Reframe it as a special ops assignment worthy of a Tom Cruise or Matt Damon vehicle. “Headquarters is about to get a brand-new recruit,” writes Hood (Rooting for You), and it’s up to the nascent older siblings to “train the new kid on the team.” Readers follow big brother and sisters in four families as they carry out 16 assignments, articulated in the no-nonsense cadence of a top agent’s briefing: “#7. Crack codes” accompanies a trip to the farm, where Lundquist’s (Cat & Bunny) winsome watercolors show an older brother explaining that “baaa = sheep” while “maaa = goat.” As the babies grow, the assignments become more collaborative; “#15. Go Undercover” finds a boy and his now-toddler sister on a surveillance exercise in their blanket fort. A recurring toy robot character is extraneous, but otherwise Hood and Lundquist carry off the conceit with sunny aplomb, complete with a genre-appropriate diaper joke: “Dad? In need of assistance here! Code name: Number Two!” Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Written in guidebook format for "special agents" preparing to be new brothers or sisters, this book highlights 16 tasks for "training" a "new recruit." Four different families appear in vignettes that illustrate what older siblings can do with babies, including showing family photos, playing games, and teaching words and sounds. Scenes depict the children not only helping out as the babies grow and learn, but also developing relationships along the way. A small, blue robot appears throughout, and while characters speak in word balloons with black text, the book is written in large capital block letters in different colors. The simple, minimalistic drawings feature rosy-cheeked children and adults, an abundance of white space, and fun samples of softly colored patterns and prints. Humor around dirty diapers will elicit giggles. There is some racial diversity in the characters, but only the young white boy is ever referred to by name. Some of the vocabulary, such as covert and credentials, suggests that readers share this book with adults who can help them apply meaning to the wordplay. A fun, entertaining resource for kids preparing to welcome a new baby.—Whitney LeBlanc, Staten Island Academy, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A melding of quasi-military and spy jargon delivers a tongue-in-cheek instruction manual for new big brothers and sisters. None of the racially diverse older siblings depicted reacts with ambivalence or displeasure at their new roles; instead, text and art show how big brothers and sisters in four families adjust with aplomb to the babies who've entered their families. Narrative text introduces each task the siblings must complete on their "missions" to integrate the babies into their respective families and the world at large, while speech balloons indicate how they fulfill their duties. For example, the only named character fulfills task No. 8: "SET UP COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS" by telling his little sister, "Say ‘Mason!' Can you say ‘Mason'?" Her speech-balloon response reads, "Dada goo ga goo," and Mason's nearby toy robot declares, "DOES NOT COMPUTE." The humor of each clever scenario drives the book's success and is nicely supported by Lundquist's cartoonish art. It's refreshing to see moms and dads take on varied caretaking roles in the art, but it'd be even nicer to see a family other than Mason's white, mom-dad-and-two-biological-kids family take center stage; here, the depicted characters of color take a back seat and go unnamed. This is a sweet, funny new-baby book that could be even more special with inclusion or centering of adoption, same-sex parenting or true focus on families of color. It's amusing, but it doesn't accomplish the ongoing mission: #weneeddiversefamilybooks. (Picture book. 3-7)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
With a new baby arriving soon, there are tasks to involve the older siblings. A robot assigns the mission for the big brothers and/or sisters, Activities involve participating in a discussion with parents about the expected arrival and familiarizing the baby with the people and the surroundings. Illustrations and captions demonstrate the tasks of the mission. The pictures show four families with new babies; however, Mason (the older brother) and his family takes center stage. Mason is the only character identified by his name (in the speech bubbles). At the beginning of the story, Mason receives his assignment. As each task is stated, older brothers or sisters of different families demonstrate or support the jobs; the speech bubbles lend some support to the assignments in the story. The main intention of the story seems to be introducing soon-to-be older brothers and/or sisters to a changing role in the family. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung; Ages 3 to 6.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
AD110L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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Meet the Author

SUSAN HOOD has written hundreds of children’s books, including picture books, board books, interactive books, nonfiction, and beginning readers. She lives with her family in Connecticut and enjoys spending the summer sailing with her husband along the coast of Maine.

MARY LUNDQUIST graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and then moved to England for three years. She and her husband now live by the Pacific Ocean and visit the beach at least once a week.

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