Susan Hood, author to hundreds of children’s books, is bringing big brothers- and sisters-to-be a beautifully constructed picture book manual Mission: New Baby, from Random House Books for Young Readers. Illustrated by Mary Lundquist, this funny, informative guide is a perfect resource to give any child preparing to welcome a new baby into the family.
The story, supported by thoughtful drawings that represent families of all sizes, shapes, and colors, eases kids into the different stages of life with a new little brother or sister. From the first time kids learn that mommy has a new baby in her tummy, to the “new recruit” finally learning to talk, this book overflows with useful information for big siblings and parents alike. While kids will learn plenty of ideas for games to play with the new little one, parents will appreciate the takeaway of encouraged bonding, sharing, and learning between siblings.
“Secret Agents” will learn the importance of “sharing intelligence” aka reading stories to the new baby; “setting up communication systems,” which means helping mom and dad figure out what the baby wants when he or she is crying; and “leading physical training and providing backup” for when it’s time to help the baby transition from crawling to walking. While the book takes kids step-by-step through what they can expect to happen around the house after the baby is born, one of the biggest implied lessons is that a new baby is not to be feared, or seen as a threat—instead, they’ll see that a new baby is a gift, a partner-in-crime, and a best friend through the story’s simple words and heavy illustrations.
From the very beginning of the book, big siblings-to-be are told that being a big brother or sister is a BIG job, and some of the most important tasks are to teach the baby everything he or she knows, including playing peek-a-boo with baby, showing him or her all of the best hiding places in the house (as well as where the best snacks are hidden), and teaching baby how to make the ultimate fort. It’s simple, everyday things like these that will make kids realize that being a big sibling (kind of like being a parent) is the best job in the world.
Mission: New Baby is available now and is best suited for kids ages 3 to 7.