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4.3 out of 5 stars193
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 May 2003
This book hits the spot! It was a wonderful idea to make a sister version and a brother version of the same book. It's so nice that there are talented authors and illustrators that know just how to communicate to a young child a new concept in such an appropriate, positive way. I found it helpful to introduce this book before the new baby arrives. I like how it plays up the fact that the baby can't do many things that the big sister can do. And it sets the tone that the new little person needs quite a bit of attention (help). I am a preschool teacher and when one of my students is about to become the big sister, I always recommend 2 books--"I'm a Big Sister" to read with the child and "The Pocket Parent" as a handy quick-read reference of sanity saving suggestions for Mommy and Daddy. "Pocket Parent" is literally pocket-sized and loaded with hundreds of helpful tips exclusively written for parents of 2's, 3's, 4's, and 5's. This A-Z guide has a number of pertinent chapters to this topic including: the new baby, bad words, bedtime, biting, sibling rivalry, "I hate you", the "gimmes", interrupting, lying, self-esteem, and separation anxiety. There are many issues that can arise when a new baby comes into the family with a preschooler. Both of these books help to relieve a child's and parent's anxiety and frustration with the changes in behavior and routine that are bound to happen. Both books are invaluable comforting "friends" to be consulted and reread at a moment's notice.
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on 1 April 1999
My 18 month old daughter and I read this book together several times each day during my last month of pregnancy. For a few weeks it was her favourite story. She loved it and would even make crying baby noises on the appropriate page. I think it helped prepare her for the arrival of her sibling and now she is a wonderful "big sister" and aware her brother is "too little to talk, too little to walk" etc. My only complaint about this book is the assumption that the baby will be bottle fed rather than breast fed.
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on 30 May 2015
This book is small and very simplistic and not as touching as I'd hoped it would be. I was also very disappointed with the fact that the baby is bottle fed. It is so hard to find books with breastfeeding in them and very infuriating that a book about a baby just days old still does not feature breastfeeding. I personally think it's important to show children where human babies milk comes from and for that reason I am going to draw my own picture for that page and stick it in. I want my daughter and future baby to be able to relate to this book... why couldn't the book include both bottle and breast so all children can relate? Very bottle-biased as another reviewer has written (wish I had read that before buying!). Another gripe is that it is americanised with american spelling and words... diaper, mommy... had I known this I think I would have reconsidered the purchase. This book had the potential for being lovely and the illustrations are very sweet (which has earned the book one star) but the story is quite bland and uninteresting. I thankfully have time to make my own book which I am now going to do.
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on 23 October 2010
Easy to understand for a toddler, easy to change the american words and makes your child feel special and important despite the impendng arrival. My little girl is two and a half and wanted this read to her time and again. Her baby sister is now here and she adores her!
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on 5 January 2010
I bought this for my 2 year old in advance of our new arrival. I wanted something which focuses more on her relationship to the new child- as everything else we have been given to date is focused on unrealistic expectations of a fun new playmate or with tough messages about time away from her parents and their undivided attention.

I must say, the first time I read this book- I burst into tears. It is so moving! I think the last page has it just perfect - that she is special to her parents regardless of who else joins the family. I also think that it treads the fine line between babies being undeniably hard work, and the joys of her role as a big sister. It is the latter that makes this book unique...like many children, she is always happier when she knows she is involved and has a role.

Unlike some of the reviewers, I don't have a problem switching Mommy for Mamma, and diapers for nappy. It really would be a shame to let that impact the overall positvitiy of the story. I was a bit worried when I read the other reviews saying there was an overly great emphasis on eating pizza as being the trade-off for being bigger, but having read the book, the context is that the bigger child can do lots of fun things, like talking and playing, and swinging as well as eating pizza/icecream. I think it gives a good opportunity to discuss with the older child all the things they enjoy doing which the baby can't.

If I had to say anything constructive at all about the book- I dont think I noticed the visuals as being anything more than basic drawings and washed out water colours. But the rest of the text makes up for it more than adequately. Recommend it with no hesitations whatsoever
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on 6 January 1999
Given the importance of the topic, this book could have (and should have) been better. Instead, it's curiously bland, with a "flatness" of language and/or mood that's hard to pin down. It also assumes that newborns are routinely bottle-fed. So parents-to-be looking for books to help young ones understand why they can't nurse--but the new baby can--won't find any help here.
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on 19 July 2011
This book is a fantastic choice for children who loves books and who have a pending sibling arrival. My daughter loves this book and still reads it when her brother is 8 months old! She was 2yrs when her brother came along and immediately it was a hit and one of her favourites.
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on 4 September 2008
Have just bought this book as a gift for my friend's little girl as there is a new baby brother in the house. If I had seen this book in the shop I wouldn't have bought it as it is very American. Words like 'Mommy and diapers' and an assumption that all kids eat is pizza!

I'm sure children like the book and enjoy the pictures but I would feel the need to change at least one word on every page whilst reading the story to them. I'm thinking of returning the book as I'm concerned my friend will think I've bought something that isn't appropriate.
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VINE VOICEon 19 February 2013
I'm A Big Sister by Joanna Cole is a small 21 page book aimed squarely at toddlers expecting a new younger sibling. This is not for articulate older children. For the market it is aimed it, Big Sister is really excellent. The artwork is bold and clear while still being easily realistic enough for the toddler to identify with. The morality of the work is positive, there are no unpleasant hidden messages even if one reference to unhealthy food is an explicit mistake. The only message of the book really is that the toddler's life is changing a bit but that change is for the better.

The artwork of Big Sister is high quality. It is bold and clear, easy on the toddler eye, with a friendly and positive set of images. Rosalnda Kightley's style is engaging and uncluttered yet still has each page packed with enough detail to represent everyday life.

The flow of Big Sister is also good. It is not cutesy so doesn't attempt to take the impact of the narrative away by focussing on rhythmic devices. A page typically has somewhere around a dozen words on it, about right for the attention span of a toddler. The flow of the sentences is good without unnecessary grammatical constructions or false colloquialisms. It is a light and easy read that gets the positive message across well. It is set in the ordinary daily life so provides familiarity for the future older sister - a reassuring note given the major life change coming up.

There are negatives about Big Sister. In particular a phrase about eating pizza is just crazy. Toddlers do not need to read about pizza or cakes. This particular reader always replaces these with fruits instead. It is probably a cultural issue where eating junk food is just much more acceptable in the States.

Perhaps what is most refreshing about Big Sister is that it is positive and realistic. It shows that things change and there are different things to do but that life is still lots of fun.

Coming in hardback format, Big Sister stands up to the mauling it will take at the hands of a young child. It is small enough to be easy to hold and does not take up much space on a bookshelf.
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on 29 December 2009
I bought this book when I was pregnant with my second child, and needed to explain to my almost 2 yr old what was happening. She thoroughly enjoyed the story; we read it almost daily! It was nice as I would point to the illustrations and we'd just talk about what was happening in the pictures rather than follow the story.
Some of the narrative itself was slightly 'odd' but it was nice all the same. American words such as diaper I replaced with the English. I'm not sure if it really helped her understand that she was about to have a baby sister, but I think it opened the doors to realising there was soon going to be a baby in the house who needed looking after.
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