When we found out I was pregnant, we knew we were going to need a little help breaking the news to Jack. I did some scouring for books that were about the actual pregnancy, not about being a big brother or having a new baby in the house (we'll get to those later I'm sure). I also wanted something cute, because I'm shallow like that. When I stumbled across There's Going to Be a Baby by husband-and-wife team John Burmingham and Helen Oxenbury, I knew I'd found just what I was looking for.
This book might be a little abstract for younger children, but for a 4 or 5-year-old, I think it's just right. The mom explains to her son that a baby will arrive in the fall, and then answers some of the little boy's questions about the baby. Most of the pages depict the mom and son on various outings, imagining what the baby will be when it's older. At first, the boy isn't thrilled with the prospect of the baby. When he imagines the baby as a zoo keeper, he muses over the possibility of the baby being eaten by a tiger. I guess this might be off-putting to some people. I found it hilarious.
Another page shows the boy standing up in his bathtub, announcing to his mother out of the blue that the neighbor's baby threw up all over the carpet. I love the humor in this book, and the illustrations are adorable with a vintage feel to them. The images of the baby performing his various imagined activities - banker, chef, sailor - are cute and silly, and Jack particularly likes looking at them. He also likes that the little boy wants to name the baby Spider Man.
By the end of the story, the boy begins to warm up to the idea of the baby, and I always get a little teary-eyed on the last page (granted, I'm pregnant). I was surprised by how well Jack responded to the book. He wants to read it almost every night, and he's memorized some of the questions and refers to the book when we talk about the baby - the last line is something like, "We're going to love the baby, aren't we?" and Jack has said multiple times that he wants "to love the baby." Ultimately, I feel somewhat indebted to this book for helping Jack get excited about the baby, instead of denying its existence all together like he was at first.
If anyone has any must-have reads for soon-to-be siblings, please share in the comments!