We ended last year by becoming a family of four, so this year’s first Friday Five is, appropriately, a selection of our favourite books for little boys* who are about to become or have just become big brothers. The Boy has really taken to his new role with much enthusiasm, showering his little brother with hugs and kisses at every opportunity. So sweet. So, clockwise from top left, here are the books that helped him transition in to his new role:
- Unser Baby (Engl: Our Baby), from Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? Junior – Titles in this popular non-fiction series for kids aged 2+ (wieso, weshalb, warum all mean ‘why’ in English) all come with a series of flaps to lift and discover. In this edition, kids can lift flaps to see e.g. what’s inside mum’s belly. We already have several other books from the series (planes, trains, fire engines, to name a few), so this book was readily received, and made a nice change from the others we have on the topic which are all story books. It would suit big sisters too.
- The Berenstain Bear’s New Baby, by Stan & Jan Berenstain – This book is the least factual of all, and misses out on quite a few details – Papa Bear and his son go out to the woods and when they come back there’s a new baby at home – but it’s still a sweet story with the focus very much on the big brother, who has to give up his old bed for the new baby but ends up very happy in his new role.
- Hallo Baby, wann kommst Du? (Hello baby, when are you coming?), by Lydia Hauenschild & Heike Herold – This book focuses on big brother Julian who can’t wait to meet his baby sister. He accompanies his mum to the doctor, asks questions about how the baby eats while it’s still inside mum, and picks some of his old clothes and toys to give to the baby. The Boy loved this book – no sooner had we read it than he rushed to sort through his toys to find things for ‘his’ baby, and asked to come to the doctor with me to ‘see our baby on the TV’ (i.e. the ultrasound). The first thing he did when he came to see us in hospital was rush to Mr Fox’s side and see if he would grab his finger, just like Julian’s little sister did, and on our first night home when Mr Fox cried, he brought him his teddy to comfort him, just like in the book.
- Mommy’s Little Boy, by Ronne Randall & Kristine Khrin – This book isn’t actually about becoming a big brother. It’s about the relationship between a boy and his mother, and about no matter how big or grown up little boys get, they will always by mommy’s little boy. While the first three books were regular reads in the run up to Mr Fox’s arrival, this one was part of a ‘Big Brother Kit‘ we gave The Boy when he came to see us in hospital. We’ve read it together many times since, and it’s helped in reassuring him that he’s still my little boy, even now the baby is here. The book seems to be sadly out of print, but I managed to get a copy via a third party seller on Amazon.
- I’m a Big Brother, by Joanna Cole – This is another book that was part of the Big Brother Kit, as unlike the first three it focuses on the time after baby’s arrival rather than the lead up to it. It shows how there are many things the baby can’t do yet, and about all the things that big brothers can do instead, including helping to look after the baby. It has helped ward off disappointment about not being able to play with the baby straight away, and shows how big brothers are loved my their mummy and daddy just as much as babies. There’s also a version called I’m a Big Sister, by the same author.
* Of course, little girls can read these books too, but with the exception of the first, non-fiction one, they are all books that specifically feature boys becoming big brothers and were chosen because that was our home situation.