The Children’s Book Review | October 4, 2018
Written by Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Age Range: 4-7
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (2017)
What to expect: Newborns, siblings, tips for families, humor
A sweet and often hilarious book for kids getting a new baby brother or sister, READY, SET…BABY! prepares everyone for the big responsibilities, fun (and annoyances!) that are coming their way.
Getting a new baby can sound like a great idea to many kids. New playmates! New toys! More fun! But once the realities of a screaming, smelly infant come to a head, most children realize that being a big sister or brother is not all that it’s cracked up to be and are looking for a way to return the baby to the stork. This delightful book starts at the beginning with helpful siblings Anna and Oliver. First up: The Big Wait. Once Anna and Oliver were told they were getting a new sibling, it seemed to take forever for the kiddo to appear. Days turned in to weeks, and still no baby! That was tough for them to deal with. Plus, their mom’s belly grew so big she couldn’t chase them at the park and they couldn’t sit in her lap. That was disappointing, too.
When the baby finally arrived, Anna and Oliver noticed the new baby looked a little red. And wrinkly. Then came the smelly diapers, the weird belly button and napping non-stop. Anna says, “[P]laying with a new baby is like playing with a loaf of bread.” What a disappointment.
But fear not! Anna and Oliver get the hang of helping out, and they explain to readers ways to deal with all the stress. Baby getting too much attention? Ask to hold it! Baby getting lots of presents? Help open them! Baby spits up on your favorite shirt? Just change it!
A funny, well-thought out book perfect for new siblings to be. The narrated journey is also a great conversation starter for parents before and after the birth of a new baby. There’s a glossary of websites and helpful books for kids to learn more about babies, which helps them to feel even more a part of the babyhood journey.
The illustrations are fun and full of soothing colors and realistic (though not too realistic!) pictures of children and babies. It helps children know what to expect when they can see it on the page first, and the illustrations do a great job of keeping children engaged. Children will especially like the big fluffy dog and smelly diapers, which the preschool set always find hilarious. Highly recommended.
About the Author
The award-winning freelance writer Elizabeth Rusch is the author of a number of award-winning nonfiction titles for children, including: Generation Fix, Will it Blow?, The Planet Hunter, and For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart. Her previous Scientists in the Field titles include Eruption!, The Mighty Mars Rovers and The Next Wave. Elizabeth lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family. You can visit Liz online at www.elizabethrusch.com and follow her on Twitter @elizabethrusch.
About the Illustrator
Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, and lived in France and Montreal. She now lives and works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto. To learn more, visit qinleng.tumblr.com.
Ready, Set…Baby!, written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Qin Leng, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Ready, Set…Baby! by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Elizabeth Rusch, Humorous Books, New Baby, New Sibling Book, Picture Book, Qin Leng, and Siblings.
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!