Friday, April 16, 2010

Picture Book: Bye-bye Baby!

Felix is not impressed with his new baby sister. He's off to a bad start when he's banished to the playground with his sitter during her birth: It gets worse when his sister goes to bed late, and wakes everyone up early. Felix votes for taking her back, but it seems that the only one on his side is Pancho, his beloved stuffed grey donkey.

When his baby sister is old enough to walk, the family visits the zoo. It's amazing! There are elephants that could sit on his sister, Hippos that could eat his sister, and Giraffes that could lift her high into the trees, where he would "never have to see her again!"

When it's time to leave the zoo, Felix is distraught. On the ride home, he cries. and cries. and cries. Nothing can make him feel better, until his sister reaches over, and hands him Pancho. With one small gesture, Felix finds that his sister might, just might, not be such a dud after all. His parting words? "I guess I can call off the hippo."

This short book clearly shows the disgust and alienation that older siblings might feel with a younger addition. Unlike many other titles in this genre, the issue isn't resolved within a week or two: it takes years until Felix's sister is able to relate to him in a way he can understand. This would be a great title to couple with a discussion about siblings, where you remind older sibs that their younger brother or sister might take a long time to start interacting with them. Patience is the key!

Picture book
ages 3-5
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