FICTION

Mission: New Baby: Top-Secret Info for Big Brothers and Sisters

illus. by Mary Lundquist. 32p. Random. Feb. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385376723.
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K-Gr 2—Written in guidebook format for "special agents" preparing to be new brothers or sisters, this book highlights 16 tasks for "training" a "new recruit." Four different families appear in vignettes that illustrate what older siblings can do with babies, including showing family photos, playing games, and teaching words and sounds. Scenes depict the children not only helping out as the babies grow and learn, but also developing relationships along the way. A small, blue robot appears throughout, and while characters speak in word balloons with black text, the book is written in large capital block letters in different colors. The simple, minimalistic drawings feature rosy-cheeked children and adults, an abundance of white space, and fun samples of softly colored patterns and prints. Humor around dirty diapers will elicit giggles. There is some racial diversity in the characters, but only the young white boy is ever referred to by name. Some of the vocabulary, such as covert and credentials, suggests that readers share this book with adults who can help them apply meaning to the wordplay. A fun, entertaining resource for kids preparing to welcome a new baby.—Whitney LeBlanc, Staten Island Academy, NY
It's a big sibling's mission to train a new baby, and it's a tough job. Among other tasks, the big brother or sister must "introduce associates" (show off pets, toys, and grandparents); "share intelligence" (read stories aloud); and "complete covert operation" (sneak cookies from the cookie jar). The soft illustrations, showing loving, rosy-cheeked families, humorously belie the text's stern instructions.

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