Monday, February 21, 2011
There's Going to Be a Baby
A good friend of mine is pregnant with her second child. When she and her husband told their 4-year-old daughter that she was pregnant they gave her some books - one of which was There's Going to Be a Baby by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury. This book is one of the best books for a big-sibling-to-be I have seen. I wish it was around last April when we told our kids there was going to be a baby.
The illustrations are beautiful. They are very simple but colorful and done in a fun vintage style. In an interview Helen Oxenbury said that she was tired of doing "tired, haggard mothers" and this was her first "smart mom." The mother does have a very smart, stylish look to her that is very endearing.
The text fits the illustrations perfectly. It is a conversation between the mother and her young son that spans the course of the pregnancy and goes through the seasons of the year. The little boy asks all of the questions that a young child might - will it be a boy or a girl, do we really want a baby? And the mother wonders aloud with her son about who this baby might be - a chef, an artist, a zookeeper - a boy or girl. The relationship between mother and son is very charming and real. Here is an example of the text:
"Maybe when the baby grows up, it will be a chef and work in a restaurant."
"I don't think I'd eat anything that was made by the baby."
As would be expected from any book by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury - this book is exceptional. It is a must have for any family expecting a new baby.