One Special Day

( 1 )


Does having a new brother or sister make you into MORE than you already are?

Spencer is about to find out.

He's as strong as a bear, as funny as a monkey, and as wild as a tiger. But on one special day, everything changes. Now Spencer is strong, funny, wild, brave, free... and gentle, too.

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Does having a new brother or sister make you into MORE than you already are?

Spencer is about to find out.

He's as strong as a bear, as funny as a monkey, and as wild as a tiger. But on one special day, everything changes. Now Spencer is strong, funny, wild, brave, free... and gentle, too.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Out in his backyard, Spencer can be a lot of things: tall as a giraffe (with help from a ladder) or loud as an elephant (provided he has two metal trash cans to bang). Strong, fast, messy, wild—Spencer has those qualities and more within him. But the big question is, can Spencer be gentle when Mom and Dad bring home a new sibling? This is more of an extended rhetorical question than a story; it recognizes—celebrates, really—kids’ more rambunctious, free-spirited tendencies, while demonstrating that those same attributes aren’t mutually exclusive from tenderness, when it’s called for. Schaefer (Just One Bite) wisely invites audience participation by never identifying the animals that complete Spencer’s many similes, letting images of the creatures provide the answers, rebus-style. Meserve’s (Can Anybody Hear Me?) bold digital drawings are a big plus: she gives Spencer an energetic, devil-may-care intensity that will feel instantly familiar to both kids and parents, and Spencer’s expansive, slightly wild backyard, with its climbing trees, meadow, and mud hole, will be the envy of all ages. Ages 2–5. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Here is a wonderful story that illustrates the message that sometimes different behaviors are appropriate for children in their roles as individuals rather than in their roles as siblings. The pages at the front of the book show a highly active young boy turning cartwheels, playing superhero, and digging in the dirt. He is Spencer, and he is strong, fast, messy, loud, and wild! (Children who are less energetic or more passive may need some help to see how this story applies to them.) The device of using illustrations to fill in for words (e.g., "He was wild—wild as a..." [image of a tiger]), makes this a perfect read-aloud book. Jessica Meserve's full-page illustrations are bright and engaging. On that "special day" when Spencer's baby sister comes home from the hospital, he sits in a chair with a pillow on his lap and he is gentle with her. A final two-page spread shows all Spencer's characteristic animals—messy pig, strong bear, fast horse—looking on from the sidelines as he, mom and dad take the new baby on a picnic. Closing endpapers illustrate activities shared by Spencer and his younger sibling that clearly reflect a loving and playful relationship. This is a great addition to classroom, school, or personal libraries. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Pres-Gr 1—Young Spencer is strong as a bear, fast as a horse, tall as a giraffe, and loud as an elephant. But on one special day, he becomes something he has never been before: a brother. With a simple interactive text and thoroughly engaging illustrations, this book is a perfect blending of words and pictures. Beginning with an image of the child standing beside his grandmother as a car pulls away, digitally rendered oil pastels in bold spring colors depict a dark-haired tyke reminiscent of Maurice Sendak's Johnny. Spencer awaits his parents' return by happily running, jumping, and climbing a large apple tree in his grandmother's yard while large animals appear to define his talents. Short beginning sentences require a turn of the page and a fill-in-the-name-of-the-illustrated-animal for completion ("He was funny—funny as a [monkey]."). Large spreads have a sunny quality and are filled with creatures large and small. When his parents finally return, Spencer becomes "gentle," sitting with a pillow in his lap as his father hands him the baby. The final images of this loving family will melt readers' hearts. A special book for the special day.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
The never-ceasing flow of new-baby books gets an imaginative jolt in this clever and creative title. Spencer may be a boy, but in him you'll find qualities worthy of the entire animal kingdom. He's fast as a horse, tall as a giraffe, funny as a monkey and more. Yet when his parents come home with a new arrival, Spencer finds a new way to describe himself. He may be like animals in many respects, but now he's gentle, just as a big brother should be. One would be right to question whether it's possible to create a wholly original new-baby picture book, but Schaefer's device of making the title part animal story, part sibling tale is a winning one. The text allows readers to guess what animal Spencer will come to resemble next, until finally there is only one thing left to be. To accomplish this, the tone effortlessly slides from raucous and rebellious to quiet and awe-filled (aww-filled too, to be honest) with nary a hitch. Meserve's digital oil pastels of idyllic grass and trees successfully conjure up both the wild bestiary of Spencer's id and the pastoral calm the new baby brings. In a market glutted with books for newbie brothers and sisters, this is one that stands apart. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

LOLA M. SCHAEFER ( is the author of more than 200 books for children. Her book Frankie Stein was awarded the Children's Choice Book Award and the Mockingbird Award. Lola lives with her husband, Ted, in the mountains of north Georgia.

JESSICA MESERVE ( is the author-illustrator of Small Sister and Can Anybody Hear Me? She was born in Maine, studiedillustration in Scotland, and worked in publishing as achildren's book designer before pursuing a career as an illustrator. Her two young children helpedinspire her artwork in this book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Welcoming a New Family Member

    A wonderful tale of a big brother who welcomes a new sibling! This is an excellent introduction for youngsters who are about to become big brothers!

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