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Ready, Set . . . Baby!
Cover of Ready, Set . . . Baby!
Ready, Set . . . Baby!
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Big kids Anna and Oliver give young readers the inside scoop on what to expect when a new baby is expected. In a fresh picture book/comic style, Ready, Set . . . Baby offers up a funny, loving, reassuring peek into life as a big brother or sister—with solid information, kid-friendly humor, and even tips for parents on how to help kids thrive when the new baby arrives.

Big kids Anna and Oliver give young readers the inside scoop on what to expect when a new baby is expected. In a fresh picture book/comic style, Ready, Set . . . Baby offers up a funny, loving, reassuring peek into life as a big brother or sister—with solid information, kid-friendly humor, and even tips for parents on how to help kids thrive when the new baby arrives.

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 21, 2016
    Rusch (Electrical Wizard) and Leng (A Family Is a Family Is a Family) assuage readers’ anxieties about new arrivals by channeling their advice through two elementary-school-age siblings who have just welcomed a baby to their house. Anna and Oliver star in the book’s many vignettes and address readers directly (think House of Cards without the menace), providing frank, this-too-shall-pass answers that reflect the realities of living with a newborn and their own sibling solidarity (displacement issues are barely addressed, even though Anna, who seems older than Oliver, must have felt them when he came along). Several pages are devoted to poop (“We were not prepared for how many times a day our baby would need a diaper change”), and the siblings note that—contrary to what well-meaning adults assert—babies are hardly new playmates. “Playing with a new baby is like playing with a loaf of bread,” Anna says. Leng’s matter-of-fact, well-observed cartooning, reminiscent of classic family magazines, underscores the book’s levelheaded, soothing message: you got this. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2016
    What to expect when mommy's done expecting. While the bulk of new-baby books zero in on the infant in utero, Rusch's informs siblings about what goes down after the arrival. Narrating from their own experience, light-skinned siblings Anna and Oliver provide a practical guide to everything a new sibling will need to know about the baby. Whether it's the baby's initial appearance ("red, wrinkly skin with little bumps all over her face"), its limited mobility and facial expressions, or umbilical stumps, Rusch keeps the tone lighthearted and original (no small matter in a market glutted with new-baby fare). The kids' narration works as a purely practical template for kids curious about how their lives will change. Backmatter includes bibliographies and tips for parents on how best to meet the needs of those children that feel jealous of the baby. In keeping with the book's humor and general good cheer, Leng's spirited watercolors bring both the chaos and the charm of babies to vibrant life. Occasional missteps, as when the book fails to clearly distinguish between a mother's internal "baby compartment" and "where ice cream and bananas and yogurt go," do not diminish the book's worth as a whole. Expect older kids to go gaga over this informative little guide. (Picture book. 4-7)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2016

    PreS-K-Anna and Oliver take readers on a whirlwind tour of life with a brand-new baby in the house. With a conversational style, the siblings address readers directly, offering information and advice based on their own experiences: "Lots of people are probably telling you what to expect, but kids in the know can give you the real deal." Anna, the older of the pair, imparts simple facts such as, "Moms have a special compartment inside for growing babies." Oliver, the younger sibling, expresses common emotions including wonder and boredom. While waiting for the baby to arrive, he thinks, "This is worse than waiting for pizza to be delivered." The big brother and sister present useful guidance on everything from how to hold a newborn (sit down, cradle its head, speak softly) to diaper changes (it's not that bad) to accepting that infants are not yet equipped to play ("playing with a new baby is like playing with a loaf of bread."). The content centers on what happens after the baby comes home; the author doesn't discuss how the baby gets into Mom's "special compartment." Leng's vignette-style cartoons add humor and capture the family's wide range of facial expressions, body language, and feelings-from anxious anticipation to quiet surprise. Speech bubbles break up the text and highlight some of the siblings' more personal reactions ("WHAT IS THAT?" Oliver asks while pointing to the baby's "little black stump" of an umbilical cord). Back matter steers interested children and caregivers to additional material, including websites and books such as Robie H. Harris's What's in There: All About Before You Were Born. There are even tips for parents on how to help a child adjust to a new sibling. VERDICT Lighthearted and funny, this is an ideal book to share with soon-to-be big brothers and sisters.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Ready, Set . . . Baby!
Ready, Set . . . Baby!
Elizabeth Rusch
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