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Gracie's Book Nook
July 2017:
What's The Big Deal About Babies?

Hi there, readers! My person finally got off her duff and gave me a new book to read. She handed me Ready, Set ... Baby! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN: 9780544472723) by Elizabeth Rusch. Qin Leng is the illustrator of this book for wee little humans. Hmm, how interesting, I thought to myself, a documentary of an average human family as they await the arrival of a new human.

As I perused the pages I realized that this book is more of a fun story for young humans than a documentary for curious cats. Apparently children can get all confused, excited, apprehensive, and even jealous of the arrival of a new sibling; so much so that they need some sort of manual to explain what they can expect. Well, I find this concept quite confounding. When I was born I arrived with lots of brothers and sisters. I don't even know if I have siblings that arrived in other litters before or after mine. I can't say I really care either. By eight weeks old we cats usually go to new homes to live with people and maybe other cats that we are not related to, so we don't get our noses bent out of joint about kitten siblings. But people are different, I guess.

I did like reading about the human larvae, something I know nothing about. Apparently you people typically get one per litter, unlike cats. Baby people are interestingly helpless for a long time; so immobile that they even have to wear their litter box! It's called a diaper. Eww, gross! Even more disgusting is when those wearable litter boxes need to be changed! It seems that babies are neither water tight or blurp tight as they leak out of every orifice. How uncivilized! They can't even bathe themselves, something I mastered very early on, thank you very much.

But it's not all gross and icky stuff, as the book explains. People think everything a baby does is cute - smiling, giggling, and even farting. How come no one thinks it's cute when I blurp up lunch on the windowsill? Now, the cuteness factor is seemingly where the older sibling's jealousy comes into play. I have no concept of that thing people call sibling rivalry. I don't even remember my siblings. We were only together for two months and I've not seen nor heard from them since. The book lists all kinds of reasons why big kids should not be jealous as well as all the things big kids can do that babies can't. I'd think not having to wear a litter box is reason enough not to have your knickers in a twist!

Even though a cat does not understand all the hoopla surrounding the arrival of another baby, humans expecting a newbie will probably find this book helpful to their other children and perhaps even make them excited about the newcomer. There are all kinds of tips for parents and big brothers and sisters, most of which have funny color illustrations. I enjoyed my glimpse into the alien world of human sibling relations. However I can say, with 100% certainty, that I like having a very cool cat attitude of, 'More siblings? No big deal!'
Gracie graciously shares her living quarters with Jessica Maguire. Aside from keeping the food dish full and litter box clean, lady's maid Jessica keeps Gracie well stocked with plenty of books to read and a cozy laptop for Gracie to work, and warm her bum, on.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.