Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
What does it feel like to be a big sister? Parents who are soon to bring home a second bundle of joy will find Brooke Shield's book to be the perfect gift for the big-sister-to-be. The book begins with the words, "Welcome home, baby! Welcome to your world." The big sister in this book is delighted to decorate her little sister's room, help with baths, and even lend her favorite teddy bear to baby sister. Big Sister imagines that they will play dress-up, put on a play, hold tea parties, and plan super secret sleepovers together. Someday, they will even play outside in the snow together, collecting memories more precious than snowflakes. They will become the best of friendsand enjoy a lifetime of adventures together. Young readers will enjoy the delightful illustrations and storyline, while parents will find this selection to be a wonderful introduction to big sisterhood. In her children's literature debut, Brooke Shields is once again a stunning success, harvesting the fruits of her recent life events to produce a fun and charming book. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
This sanitized description of being a big sister is well-meaning, but lacks tension and story. A girl goes through a laundry list of things that she can and will do with her new baby sister, and ends with, "We can even share cuddling with Mom./I love being your big sister!" Everything is positive, and lines like "...you smell so sweet-/especially your feet./I almost want to eat them, /but that would be silly!" have a distinctly adult sensibility to them. The illustrations are pleasant enough, with two cartoonish pixies with small blue eyes, oversize heads, and thin frames traipsing through the primarily pink-hued pages. Those who want a more balanced story may find Robie Harris's Hi New Baby! (Candlewick, 2000), Sally Lloyd Jones's How to Be a Baby-By Me, the Big Sister (Random, 2007), Jean Van Leeuwen's Benny and Beautiful Baby Delilah (Dial, 2006), and Kevin Henkes's Julius, the Baby of the World (HarperCollins, 1990) to be more effective.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Celeb-cum-mom-cum-children's author Shields offers up to shelves glutted with new-sibling celebrations a relentlessly cheery big sister's promises of happy times together. "Now that you are here, we can have tea parties . . . / and super secret sleepovers." Doerrfeld's retro pastel illustrations feature two button-nosed tykes, the younger aging over the course of the book from infancy to preschool-age, although this progression is uneven, and her older sister doesn't seem to grow at all. Of greater moment than this quibble, however, is the almost total lack of nuance in the presentation: It's the (literally) rosy-hued projection of an idealized relationship rather than an honest acknowledgment of the snarl of emotions that wraps around siblings in real life. This will almost certainly sell like proverbial hotcakes thanks to its author's marquee value; thank goodness new siblings and their parents have such emotionally truthful works as the classic Peter's Chair (Keats, 1967) and Julius, the Baby of the World (Henkes, 1990) and the new Robie H. Harris-Michael Emberley collaboration, Mail Harry to the Moon (2008), waiting when reality sinks in. (Picture book. 3-8)