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The Very Tiny Baby    by Sylvie Kantorovitz order for
Very Tiny Baby
by Sylvie Kantorovitz
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2014 (2014)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although I have come across numerous books that deal with new arrivals in families and how the current children might react to a brother or sister, this is the first picture book I have seen that focuses on a premature baby.

The situation begins with the narrator, a little boy, sharing the fact that his mother is pregnant. Everyone is naturally quite happy except the boy; he's not sure he wants a little brother or sister.

But quickly the tone changes. The baby arrives too soon, the entire family routine is disrupted, and the narrator knows that all is not well. The boy's grandmother comes to stay with him and his parents are acting quite oddly and are worried about what is happening at the hospital.

Quickly, the narrator's mood changes also and he begins to resent his unseen sibling for causing all this fuss and disruption. The boy's dark thoughts and mood are eventually replaced by beginning to understand what is happening.

Obviously the story ends happily with the boy's concerns addressed by his parents and the baby's actual arrival at the family home.

Certainly this isn't a picture book for all children, nor is it for a child whose mother is expecting. You don't want to raise the issue of a premature arrival and worry the child, but if that does occur this would be an excellent book to help discuss the situation.

As a situational picture book, this is an excellent volume to have on the shelf of a school or public library. I'd set it aside and recommend it if I knew a family was facing this dilemma and had other children who needed assistance understanding and getting through the situation.

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