When I was pregnant, Owl picked a book out at the library and we thought it was great because it was called “There’s Going To Be A Baby”, so I thought it would be good for preparing Owl for the baby.
It looks fine in pictures.
The mother tells her son that “there’s going to be a baby” and then there’s a a series of lovely pictures showing the mother out with her son while her belly slowly expands and the seasons pass.
Then we got home and read the text.
Throughout the book, the kid asks his mother questions about what it will be like to have a baby, what the baby will do, and occasionally expressing resentment of his sibling-to-be.
Ignoring all of that, the mother responds with speculations about what the baby may do when it grows up.
The kid, totally not comprehending the “when it grows up” part, tries to imagine a baby doing all this cooking, banking, sea faring, gardening etc. He gets a very confused image of what exactly having a sibling is going to be like, but he seems sure of one thing – it will be messy.
So this poor kid basically keeps imagining various iterations of the theme “this baby sibling is going to ruin my life” while the mother does nothing to reassure him. She’s too busy watching the seasons change and speculating on baby names.
Finally, at the end of the book, the kid goes with his grandfather to meet the new sibling, and asks “…we’re going to love the baby, aren’t we?”
He never gets an answer because the BOOK ENDS THERE.
Not only does the child never receive actual adult reassurance that they will, in fact, love the baby, but we never find out what really happens.
We never meet the baby, we never see whether the child gets useful answers, or if he does, in fact, love the baby sibling or (and?) if it really does ruin his life.
It’s basically a “how NOT to prepare your child for a sibling” book.
WHAT A GREAT BOOK I AM SO GLAD WE READ THAT.
I have seen this book in book stores since, so it actually seems to be selling. Who is buying this book? Who thought it would be good to prepare a child for a sibling?
I’m happy to report that Owl loves Fritter and hasn’t shown much resentment, so I think the stuff we did to prepare him worked. This book had NO ROLE IN THAT.