You Were the First


You will always be the first...

A touching tribute to baby's early milestones — those unforgettable moments that will always be cherished. From first smiles to first cuddles and even to that first kiss, here's a loving ode to every child's — and parent's — momentous "firsts."

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You will always be the first...

A touching tribute to baby's early milestones — those unforgettable moments that will always be cherished. From first smiles to first cuddles and even to that first kiss, here's a loving ode to every child's — and parent's — momentous "firsts."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
In the hands of MacLachlan…the sweetly detailed text and pictures of a biracial family living somewhere that looks a lot like Brooklyn are a comforting reminder of how special all those "firsts" can be.
Publishers Weekly
Let’s hear it for the privileges of birth order! Because as this book reminds all the Numero Unos out there, “One day there may be a second—or a third—to sleep in the basket with the yellow ribbon wound round. But you will always be the first.” MacLachlan (Cat Talk) and Graegin (Water in the Park) celebrate the modest milestones that seem so marvelous the first time around: first snowfall, first steps, first smiles, and first coos. As MacLachlan sagely observes, first babies “teach us how to be parents,” a statement that many children may find positively revelatory. However, the book presents parenthood as a surprisingly passive learning experience. Graegin’s mixed-media images, rendered in soft nursery colors, portray a couple in a kind of holding pattern of happiness. There are no highs, lows, or frantic moments of wondering what to do; every page is a study in warm, easy smiles. Even singletons who think they’re very special indeed may see this as an overidealized depiction of the nuclear family. Up to age 3. Author’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
First-borns can feel a little insecure when they learn that a new brother or sister is on the way. This picture book is designed to help them overcome that feeling, and to reassure them of their parent's love. The story reminds the child about all the "firsts" that he experienced: the first smile, the first laugh, the first step, the first snow-angel, and many more. But by far, the most important "first" was that he taught his mom and dad how to be parents. There are two or three short sentences on every other page. The text is accompanied by full-page illustrations done in pastel colors with dashes of bright colors here and there. The pictures of the mother, father, and son are charming, and the portrayal of the dog is quite endearing. A simple, comforting book, it should be a favorite in households preparing to welcome another child. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Told in second person, this picture book pays tribute to the significance of the moments with a baby from its very first night home. "You were the first…. You were the first to sleep in the basket with the yellow ribbon wound round. You were the first to cry. You were the first to smile." Simple, poignant lines allow plenty of room for the warm illustrations done in graphite pencil and ink to bring readers into the joyful home of this young family. Each page is full of telling details for children to notice while conveying emotion that will resonate strongly with parents. The baby grows a little with every page turn in this book of firsts-lifting his head, and then crawling, walking, and running-bringing readers to the powerful line in the text: "You were the first to teach us how to be parents." The book closes with that yellow-ribboned basket again while suggesting a possible second child, but promising that this baby will always be the first. A touching celebration for firstborns.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Two doting parents celebrate the many milestones of their first child. Very proud parents (dad is white; mom has Asian features and coloring) narrate here, taking time to spell out all of the special moments they have shared with baby. They croon to the little one that he or she (it's not clear whether the child is a girl or a boy) was first to smile, cry, coo, look at the trees and flowers, go to the beach, crawl, dig in the garden, throw a ball and more. Through the poignant moments selected and the realistic yet muted illustrations that accompany them, readers watch as the seasons change and the child grows from tiny newborn to intrepid toddler. A blissful portrait emerges, with milestones such as teething pain and temper tantrums scrupulously avoided. The tender final pages--while potentially envy-inducing for those readers not first-born themselves--reveal the authentic but often unspoken feelings many new parents harbor: "You were the first to teach us how to be parents. // One day there may be a second-- / or a third--to sleep in the basket with the yellow ribbon wound round. // But you will always be the first." More than the children it ostensibly targets, new parents will appreciate this tender celebration of the parent–first baby bond that grows as fast as the little one does. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316185332
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 109,679
  • Age range: 9 months - 3 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Maclachlan is the author of many beloved children's books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, which won the Newbery Medal in 1986, several other bestselling books in the Sarah series, and picture books including All the Places to Love, What You Know First, Your Moon, My Moon, and Before You Came, co-authored with her daughter. A board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, she lives with her husband in Massachusetts. They have five grandchildren-all of whom are firsts in her heart.

Stephanie Graegin is the illustrator of Don't Feed the Baby, Water in the Park, Happy Birthday, Bunny! and several other books. She studied fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and went on to attend the Pratt Institute, where she received a master of fine arts in printmaking. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her online at

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Beautiful book

    Perfect for first time parents

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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