Behold! A Baby

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Behold! A Baby Book Poster Image
Big brother finds special role in funny new-sibling book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Babies are learning the basics: how to smile, eat a banana, babble. Older kids can do much more: sing, eat lots at a time, teach babies how to do things. There's an emotional arc to adjusting to a new sibling.

Positive Messages

Though babies can be annoying scene stealers, they also can be fun. There's value in being an older sibling.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Older brother is in touch with his negative feelings. He figures out the things he can teach the baby.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stephanie Watson's Behold! A Baby is a new-sibling book that envisions Dad as an announcer with a mic and who sets the baby on an actual pedestal onstage and broadcasts his every achievement to an audience that goes wild with applause. Big brother is understandably upset, because he can do so much more, but he comes to love the baby by stepping into his older, wiser big-brother role, thus winning applause himself. Big brother realizes that one of the best things he's able to do is teach all the many things he knows to his new little brother.

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What's the story?

In BEHOLD! A BABY, a dad assumes the role of ringmaster, trumpeting the small achievements of the new baby in the house. Step right up! Baby eats! Speaks! Smiles! The older brother is understandably put out until he's the only one able to translate the baby's babbling -- the baby wants his big brother! -- prompting him to think of all the fun things he can teach his new, malleable sibling.

Is it any good?

In this new-baby book, the boom-voiced announcer dad and the boy's irritated retorts make for a fun, theatrical read-aloud with a familiar emotional arc: Boy hates baby, boy learns to love baby. Since big brother is much more accomplished (he can eat two bananas at once, not just one), he's baffled by the baby's appeal and enthusiastic audience response -- until he gets his own acclaim for being "the best big brother ever!" The theatrical setting, funny speech bubbles, and bold cartoon art by Joy Ang bring some lightness to a common family adjustment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what babies can do vs. what older kids can do. What can you do that your younger sibling can't?

  • What makes this book funny? Can you come up with different funny voices for the different characters?

  • What kinds of feelings come up with a new baby in the house? Can you love and be angry at your brother or sister at the same time?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love siblings

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