A new sibling changes a family. The baby demands everyone’s attention and time—but there are few as demanding as Boss Baby. Older siblings can learn to share—even reluctantly as Martha finds out, or sometimes unexpectedly as Lilly or Stanley do. Regardless, older siblings eventually come to love the new baby in their family just like Peter, Edward and Socks. Meet these and other memorable characters in the books suggested here.

 

Boss Baby
By: Marla Frazee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Households are changed when a new baby arrives — especially when the addition assumes the position of boss! Readers will recognize the humor in the exaggerated role of one family’s latest addition revealed in understated language and comic illustrations.

How to Be a Baby… by Me, the Big Sister
By: Sally Lloyd-Jones
Illustrated by: Sue Heap
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
An older sibling details what she can do that her new brother can’t (like sitting forward in the car) but, she acknowledges, babies are really good at other things (like hugging). Children will recognize the everyday activities and the in the text and funny illustration.

I Used to Be the Baby
By: Robin Ballard
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Even the most helpful older sibling wants to be the baby again — sometimes. Gentle repetition and gently, rounded illustrations present the ways the older child helps with the baby — with the patient mother in the picture.

Julius, Baby of the World
By: Kevin Henkes
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Lilly is sick and tired of hearing about the wonders of Julius, her new baby brother. Because she wants him to go back to where he came from, Lilly spends a lot of time in the “uncooperative chair.” But when a cousin criticizes Julius, Lilly learns just how protective a big sister can feel. Deceptively simple line and wash illustrations show the intense emotions of Lilly and her mouse family.

Martha Doesn’t Share
By: Samantha Berger
Illustrated by: Bruce Whatley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Since Martha’s favorite word is “mine,” sharing with her baby brother seems to be out of the question. That is, until Edwin and her parents help her see that together is sometimes better. Humorous illustrations of the otter family and straightforward text create an appealing family story.

Once Upon a Baby Brother
By: Sarah Sullivan
Illustrated by: Tricia Tusa
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Lizzie loves telling stories to everyone but is upstaged when a baby arrives. She learns, however, that the baby actually provides inspiration for her most inventive tales he’s away for a time. Comic illustrations enhance the drama and humor of the recognizable story.

Peter’s Chair
By: Ezra Keats
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Peter did not want to give up his things from babyhood, especially his old blue chair. When he recognizes that he has outgrown his once favorite chair, he helps his father paint it for his new sister. This modern classic is illustrated in textured collage and unaffected text.

Socks
By: Beverly Cleary
Illustrated by: Alan Tiegreen
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Socks has a difficult start in life, but things get much better when he is taken in by the Brickers. The young couple adore their feline friend. But when the baby arrives, Socks loses his place at the center of the Brickers’ universe. Socks’ antics are both humorous and recognizable in this engaging novel. Older siblings will relate!

Stanley’s Little Sister
By: Linda Bailey
Illustrated by: Bill Slavin
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Stanley, a slightly lumpy but appealing dog, does not adjust well when his people bring home a cat. Eventually, however, Stanley and his “little sister” work it out much as children do with new additions to their families. Textured illustrations add verve to the lively language in this appealing book.

There’s Going to Be a Baby
By: John Burningham, Helen Oxenbury
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
As her baby grows, a mother shares her thoughts about what it will grow up to be. The conversations with her older son over time are seen through the seasons and different activities while the child’s interpretations are presented in wordless double page spreads. The satisfying saga concludes when the boy and his granddad go to meet the new baby.

Will It Be a Baby Brother?
By: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Beth Spiegel
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Edward thinks he only wants a baby brother but when his parents come home with his new sibling, Edward is thrilled to meet baby Sara. Cartoon illustrations present the family and getting-ready-for-baby rituals accessibly and comfortingly.

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