No Room for Baby!, Émile Jadoul, Kids Can Press, 2017.
Leon is a toddler penguin who is not too sure about having a new baby brother. As long as the infant Marcel is in his crib, Leon is okay with him. But once the baby cries, and mom and dad’s attention are taken away, Leon begins describing all the ways in which there is no room for a baby.
The Penguin family lives in a spacious igloo with all the trappings of a human home that would be familiar to a toddler. This familiarity along with the cartoon style illustrations, make it appealing to the listening toddler.
Despite Leon’s hesitantly about Marcel living in his home, Leon does find one place that is big enough for the baby. Leon’s arms are just the right side.
Love You Always, written by Eileen Spinelli with illustrations by Gillian Flint, is the latest gift book for new babies or for Christmas. The verses are gentle and the repetition is soothing. The book aims to communicate to the child that he or she is loved – always – but a host of family members. Mostly by Mama and Daddy.
But other family members are included. Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, and Uncle. Counsin and family friend even get a shout out. At first, this inclusion of extended family members is great. It is often rare to see Auntie and Uncle included in a children’s book. While the book seems to include a lot of the family tree, there is no inclusion of siblings or step-parents.
My Potty, Anita Bijsterbosch, Clavis Books, 2017.
At our house, we are in the midst of potty training. We have set a sticker system so that everytime Toddler J uses the potty, she receives a sticker. Once her sticker card is full, we take a trip to the Dollar Tree and she picks out one item (toy, coloring book, etc.)
During this phase of life, we are interested in books about using the potty. Something you never quite appreciate until you are a parent.
Anita Bijsterbosch’s board book My Potty is yet another book in this help-the-parent-out genre. While My Potty is no Daniel Tiger, it is a fun read. The illustrations are fun and bright. The animals in the story was a plus for Toddler J.
Friday afternoon we had some family time at the Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk. We first explored the zoo a few summers ago when we were in the area for a family vacation. Once we moved here, we knew we had to get a membership. Now, it is one of our favorite places in town.
The other night, Toddler J was falling asleep. She was getting close, reaching that stage where the eyes roll back, eyelids close, and head hangs loose. Suddenly, her head popped up and said, “Daddy! Potty!”
I asked her, “Did you potty already?” “No!” she answered, “Potty!”
I scooped her up and headed downstairs. Once in the bathroom, we were on auto-pilot. The Minnie Mouse seat positioned just right, and the toddler, sans diaper, set on the Minnie Mouse seat. I was instructed to sit in my customary spot on the floor.
And we waited. . . . . and waited.
We waited until I was sure that this was simply a well orchestrated tactic to keep herself awake. I scooped her up, and got a clean diaper. As soon as her PJs were secured around her waist, the protest began.
“No diaper! Potty! No diaper! Potty!”
I heard the cry of my child, and we returned to the bathroom. Back on the Minnie Mouse seat, within seconds, there was the sound of a faint trickle.
So I ask, who is training who?
We Just Had a Baby, Stephen Kresnky, Capstone Young Readers, 2016.
When a newborn baby comes home, it’s an adjustment for everyone. For Mom, Dad, the pet, and especially the older sibling. It has been found to be helpful to read books about new babies to young children before the baby arrives. It helps give them the language to help talk about the new baby.
When these changes take place, it can be difficult for the older sibling, especially if she or he is a toddler, to express the emotions around having a younger sibling. What makes We Just Had a Baby different from other books similar to it, is that the book is told from the perspective of a toddler. The language is appropriate for children ages two to five, and is clever and funny in its depiction of a toddler’s point of view.