I read a lot of new sibling books when I was pregnant with my second child. While I liked several, there were two things that bothered me about a lot of them. First, the new baby was the main focus of the book, not the older sibling. That may seem like an odd complaint, I know. Just remember that unless the older child is much, much older when the baby is born, then his whole world revolves around him. The baby will be an addition to HIS family. Second, the older sibling was invariably jealous or angry about the new baby. It’s great to get a book like that if your older child is already jealous or angry, but my son wasn’t. I certainly didn’t want to introduce him to the idea that he should be!
As soon as I read One Special Day by Lola Schaefer, I knew that this was a book that would speak to my son. The text is simple and repetitive. The illustrations are bright and bold. The focal point is the older brother, Spencer, and all his wonderful qualities – wild as a tiger, tall as a giraffe, messy as a pig. It’s not until you reach the end of the book that Spencer is “quiet and waiting because for the first time, Spencer was a brother.” The last few pages show Spencer holding his new baby sister gently and tenderly, and the whole family is happy. As an added bonus, the animal in each simile is drawn, not written. It just begs for the parent to stop mid-sentence to let the child say the animal’s name. I gave my son this book the day my daughter was born. We have had many happy readings since then, and I’ve seen my son “read” it to my daughter several times, too.
reviewed by Jessica