Seattle's Child

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Emily's Picks: Books to help kids welcome a new baby to the family


When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a toddler at home — and now a newborn as well — I tell them I read what I love! It's true that I read a lot, but sometimes life does get in the way. We welcomed baby No. 2 last month, and in the final lead-up to her arrival, I was a little too busy (and too tired!) to get much of my own reading done. Instead, here are two of our favorite picture books for getting siblings ready to welcome a new baby home.


“Maple” by Lori Nichols: In this sweet book, a little girl named Maple plays with the tree her parents planted before she was born. The arrival of a new sapling heralds the arrival of a new family member as well. Maple does her best to be a good big sister, sharing her beloved tree with the new baby.


“Nine Months” by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin: We've read lots of books about where a baby comes from, and “Nine Months” is my favorite. Paul's text is poetic but factual — "She has a face/she likes to move!" — and Chin's bright, detailed illustrations provide plenty to talk about. Each two-page spread features the growing fetus on one side, and the family preparing (getting an ultrasound, building a crib, etc.) on the other. More detailed information in the back helps parents answer older kids' questions.


Emily Calkins is the readers' services program coordinator for the King County Library System, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors and each other. She is also the co-host of the library’s podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.



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