First Books about New Siblings | Milestones

In this installment of SLJ ‘s "Milestones" series, we've collected books to help parents introduce new arrivals into the family, whether they come by stork or by plane.

In this installment of SLJ ‘s "Milestones" series that gathers books centering on notable firsts in the lives of young children, we introduce Baby’s first intruder: the new sibling. Every family experiences growing pains a little differently, but these books show that love is the great unifier and open conversations don’t hurt. Start by helping young children understand how babies get made; we’ve also included books for babies who arrive not by stork, but by plane.


5 covers from list


Making a Baby by Rachel Greener. illus. by Clare Owen. Dial. ISBN 9780593324851.

The gestation and eventual birth of a human baby is one of the true miracles; starting a family is an intimate, loving, and complicated experience. How much children are told about the process can vary widely, from the silly explanations involving cabbage patches and storks to the more frank and direct approach found in this book that really tells it like it is.

The New Baby and Me by Christine Kidney. illus. by Hoda Haddadi. Tiny Owl. ISBN 9781910328187.

Five brothers eagerly await the arrival of their new brother in this creatively illustrated title. Each brother shares his idea of what the baby will be like, and the text and collage images describe the activities that the brother and his new sibling will do together. One brother imagines that the baby will be a scientist like him, while another thinks he will be an artist, and so on. The boys, who are pale-skinned but for one brown-faced brother, are in for a twist when the baby is born, and even though the ending probably won’t surprise too many readers, the book conveys a reassuring message of individuality.

We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp. illus. by Julie Flett. Orca. ISBN 9781459832244.

Van Camp’s lyrical free verse poem is a beautiful welcome and a thank you to the Indigenous child who brings joy into the parents’ lives. In answer to wishes and prayers, a baby joins the home of a couple who truly cherish this new life. Gouache and digital collages create charming vignettes of a contented family of three.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff. illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Lee & Low. ISBN 9781620148372.

This well-illustrated and sweet family tale centers on the experiences of a transgender boy. In this story, Aidan has not yet met the baby who will be his sibling, and that’s what has him worried. Will the baby like sea horse or penguin-themed outfits better? If Aidan helps paint the nursery to look like the sky, maybe his new sibling won’t ever feel trapped the way Aidan did in his old room, before his parents knew he was a boy. Aidan does everything he can to prepare, but his excitement shifts to anxiety. What if he’s making mistakes and the baby also ends up feeling as misunderstood as Aidan once did? A much-needed and appealing addition to the picture book canon; both emotionally and visually satisfying.

[Read: First Books about Grief and Loss]

The Big Sibling Getaway by Korrie Leer. illus. by author. Albert Whitman. ISBN 9780807528310.

Life certainly changes when a new baby sibling enters the picture! Cassie begins to suspect something is different when objects in large boxes arrive on her doorstep. Next, a baby brother shows up, and his nonstop wailing has Cassie at her wit’s end. She takes the last empty box and does the only thing she can do: escape. After a while, though, Cassie learns that the distance is not what she really wants. Anyone with a new baby sibling will be able to relate to Cassie’s experience; her tranquil, familiar world disappears overnight. This is an excellent book to help preschoolers transition to life with a new baby sibling.


4 covers


My Brother the Duck by Pat Miller Zietlow. illus. by Daniel Wiseman. Chronicle. ISBN 9781452142838.

Based on several observations, Stella, a budding scientist, thinks her baby brother could be a duck. So she sets out to test her hypothesis. Text and illustrations complement each other well in this amusing title. Text reads, “I spotted something odd before he was born. Dad told Mom, ‘You’re waddling. We must be having a duck.’ They laughed. I didn’t.“ A fresh take on welcoming a new sibling.

[Read: First Books about Divorce]

You Are New by Lucy Knisley. illus. by author. Chronicle. ISBN 9781452161563.

Sweet illustrations using digital collage show babies with various skin and hair colors learning and growing. The text begins with a question: "Hello, You! You are new. When you're new… What can you do?" Seeing, tasting, hearing, being carried, taking naps, riding in a wagon, and experiencing an array of emotions are some of the activities pictured in large, clear illustrations. A perfect lapsit read-aloud or a good pick for older children who have recently welcomed a new sibling into their home.

The Snuggly by Glen Huser. illus. by Milan Pavlovic. Groundwood. ISBN 9781554989010.

The birth of a new baby brings new emotions as well as new contraptions. On the day that Todd’s new sibling arrived home, Papa also brought a “snuggly” (better known as an infant carrier) to wear to help keep baby Ada close and safe. Papa teaches Todd how to use a snuggly with his teddy bear, Banjo Bear. One day, Papa is leaving for work and Mama is busy tending to Ada, and Todd decides that no one would mind if he takes the snuggly to school with Banjo Bear inside. More and more items are added to the snuggly until finally it bursts—and so do Todd’s emotions. Luckily, his teacher fixes the straps and provides some emotional support for the new big brother.

A Most Unusual Day by Sydra Mallery. illus. by E.B. Goodale. Greenwillow. ISBN 9780062364302.

This adoption story fills an important need in most picture book collections, while also representing the general experience of becoming an older sibling. A young girl named Caroline moves through her unusual day at school, preparing for the impending arrival of her new baby sister. Mallery’s simple text makes readers feel her preoccupation and discomfort. Meeting the baby makes “every usual thing, unusually new and perfectly right.” Because of this, the book could be read with any child expecting a new sibling.

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