The Bossier Baby

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
The Bossier Baby Book Poster Image
Bossy new sibling arrives in howlingly funny sequel.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Corporate lingo: "demoted," "executive," "Chief Executive Officer," "CEO," "business plan," "restructure the organization," "staff," "social media team," "perks," "operating productively." Baby behavior: nursing, getting diaper changed, etc.

Positive Messages

Acknowledges and mirrors real feelings of older siblings. You might feel left out, but you may come to bond with your new sibling.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Older brother feels left out and ignored and expresses his feelings. He responds to his new baby sister when she reaches out to him, hugs her and reads to her.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bossier Baby is a sequel to Marla Frazee's The Boss Baby, which inspired a spring 2017 computer-animated movie of the same name starring Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Kimmel, and Lisa Kudrow. The previous book featured a baby bossing around his parents, but in this one he's unseated by his new baby sister, who's even bossier, "Which seems impossible." Now that the baby girl is CEO, the boy is "miserable" and curls up crying in a corner. The book captures the strong feelings older siblings have when a new baby arrives but softens the situation with humor.

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What's the story?

In THE BOSSIER BABY, a new baby sister arrives in the house, and her parents are delighted and attentive. Wielding an Etch A Sketch, she demotes her older brother and promotes herself to CEO -- "The CEO was bossier than the Boss Baby had ever been" -- and gets a lot of perks, including aromatherapy (diaper changing) and a full-time social media team (parents taking photos). The older brother is now miserable and tries to get his parents' attention by stripping off his clothes and peeing on a fence post (we see his bare bottom). When that doesn't work, he cries in the corner. But when baby sister crawls over and affectionately reaches up to him, he picks her up and reads to her -- until, babies being babies, she grabs the book and clonks him on the head.

Is it any good?

In some ways, this sequel works even better than the very funny first book, since it includes the older sibling the books are aimed at, giving it heart and more opportunities for humor. In The Bossier Baby the older sib goes to great lengths to recapture his family's attention. In one startling funny spread, he strips off his onesie outside and pees on a fence post. The accompanying text is understated and droll, stating that no one paid attention to him: "No matter what he did. Where he did it. Or how outrageous it was." This is where older kids might guffaw loudly, just wishing they could strip down and let loose.

As in the first book, Frazee wrings humor from corporate lingo -- "business plan" and "restructure the organization" -- and draws visual inspiration from mid-century modern décor. This time, the parents relax with martinis and the baby keeps notes on an Etch A Sketch. Once again, warmth and connection win out as the suddenly affectionate little sister holds her arms up to her big brother and he picks her up. He reads to her, a tender moment -- until she grabs the book and clobbers him on the head.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Bossier Baby compares with The Boss Baby. Have you read both? How are they different? How are they the same?

  • Do you have a younger sibling? Do you sometimes feel that they're the boss of you or the boss of your parents?

  • When you look at the pictures, how can you tell how the big brother feels?

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