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When I Was King
     

When I Was King

by Linda Ashman, David Mcphail (Illustrator)
 

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Before you came, I owned the throne.
They trembled at my slightest moan.
I was the star, the prize, the king. . . .
But you have ruined everything.

Welcoming new siblings isn't the easiest thing to do. But if you give them a chance, you'll discover how much fun they are. So maybe there is room for another king or

Overview

Before you came, I owned the throne.
They trembled at my slightest moan.
I was the star, the prize, the king. . . .
But you have ruined everything.

Welcoming new siblings isn't the easiest thing to do. But if you give them a chance, you'll discover how much fun they are. So maybe there is room for another king or queen?

Linda Ashman and David McPhail share the creative spotlight in this humorous and charming picture book about adjusting to a new sibling.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
The young narrator vents his resentment about having a baby brother take all of the attention. Before the brother arrived, the boy was king. He was the star of his own show with his doting parents and grandparents fulfilling his every wish, but when the baby arrives, these adults gather around the little one to exclaim about every yawn, snort, and drool. The baby uses things that belong to the boy. He takes baths in the same tub, even using the boy's soap. The baby plays with his older brother's hat, his boat, and his ball. The baby ruins things. He rips a book, tips over a tower of blocks, and breaks a wheel off a wagon. When the baby gnaws on the boy's catcher's mitt, it is just too much. The boy has a screaming fit. To his surprise, his mom does not get mad. She expresses empathy for the boy's feelings. Then she helps him understand all of the things he can do that the baby cannot. The adults begin to spend special time with the older brother. After due consideration, the boy decides that it is time to share his crown (which he has been wearing throughout the book) with his baby brother. Colorful, realistic illustrations contribute to this sensitive story about welcoming a baby into a family. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

The boy narrating this expertly rhymed story is reluctant to give up the throne of being an only child. He tells his new sibling, "I was the star,/the prize,/the king.... But you have ruined/everything." Donning his gold crown (reminiscent of Max in Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are ), he watches with growing frustration as the cherubic infant is coddled by his parents and grandparents and takes over his possessions. When the baby gnaws on his catcher's mitt, big brother finally breaks down and has a tantrum. But instead of punishing him with a time-out, Mama patiently explains that the baby can't do much now, but the boy has grown so much and can do many things. He proudly lists all the chores he can do, which garners appropriate praise from his family. Reassured that he is still loved, the boy decides "...maybe I can share my throne." McPhail's charming illustrations perfectly capture the narrator's mood in his facial expressions and body language. Ashman's verses, lettered in a child-friendly font that varies in size, are perfect for reading aloud. In the crowded field of new-baby books, this one's a keeper. Pair it with Kevin Henkes's Julius, the Baby of the World (HarperCollins, 1990) for a sibling-themed storytime.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Kirkus Reviews

An older brother bemoans the fact that everything is different with a baby in the house. "Before you came, I owned the throne. / They trembled at my slightest moan. / I was the star, / the prize, / the king�. / But you have ruined / everything." No one even looks at him anymore�only at the baby. One particularly difficult day, the baby breaks, rips and dribbles on his brother's stuff. Brother takes it all in stride (more or less) until the baby gnaws his catcher's mitt, at which point he pitches a fit. Mom reaffirms his place in the family as a big boy, and the brother comes to realize that helping to care for and love a new baby can be fun�and maybe he won't mind sharing his crown. McPhail's charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations neatly match both the brother's mood swings and the innocence of the baby's mischievousness. Ashman's use of rhyme and humor extend the age range of the audience in both directions. A good addition to the new-sibling shelf. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060290511
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/14/2008
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman is the author of many critically acclaimed books for children, including Babies on the Go, illustrated by Jane Dyer, and Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs, illustrated by Lauren Stringer. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, Jack Hicks, their son, Jackson, and their two dogs, Nicky and Remy. When not writing, she is often found digging in the dirt and picking up dog hair.

David McPhail is the popular illustrator of many picture books, including If You Were My Bunny by Kate McMullan. He has written and illustrated several books, including Edward and the Pirates, Pig Pig Grows Up, and Lost! His life as an author-illustrator began at age two, when he would draw on paper bags. Mr. McPhail lives in New Hampshire.

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