I have all 4 books from this series. And I agree with the reviewer Sunderi that this book is a little negative, hence requiring a little parental 'tweaking' in the way I present it to my toddler. For instance, on page 2, the elder sibling has 'angry eyebrows' as baby tugs on her hair. Here, it's written: "Ouch! Don't do that! Why is Baby laughing?" When juxtaposed this way, it's suggested that babies take pleasure in inflicting hurt. And instead of there being some kind of suggestion that babies instinctively clutch their fists tightly, the next page flips to a completely different scene. In another book I own, 'Betsy's Baby Brother' by Gunilla Wolde, baby brother grabs a handful of Betsy's hair and tugs very hard too, but there is resolution when 'Mommy explains that babies love to grab at everything with their tiny little fingers'. There's no need for pity for the elder sibling or admonition of the baby, just a quick explanation before moving on.
To support the earlier review that this book was a touch negative, here are more examples. On page 2: elder sibling frowns when baby tugs at hair. On page 4, elder sibling plugs ears with fingers (worried eyebrows, frustrated frown): 'Oh no, the baby's shouting!' On page 5, elder sibling sits, beady-eyed, with back to her friend and the baby with resentful frown and folded arms: 'Baby likes my friend more. What about me?' On page 6, baby crawls to pick up a doll; elder sibling and friend say: 'Oh no! We don't want you to move that.' On page 7, baby spits out green mush: 'What's the matter? Don't you like this?'
I'm not against negative portrayals - they are accurate portrayals of infant behaviour - just the lack of explanation or redirection necessary at a toddler sibling's level. To make the best of this book, I've taken to actually answering the questions posed on almost every page of the book rather than taking them to be rhetoric. Sometimes I add a short line of explanation because I don't want my toddler to identify with the hurt sibling in the book and stop at that negative association with a new sibling. It is more helpful to make sense of the situation and move on from there. Sometimes I vary my approach, and ask my toddler leading questions, like 'Do you know that babies like new faces?' (in response to page 5). Or I explain, as William and Martha Sears do in the book 'What Baby Needs', that crying is the way babies talk and show us what they need, and that babies cry when hungry, tired, lonely or wet (paraphrased) (in response to page 4).
My almost 3 year old toddler hasn't yet learnt to read, so her primary mode of understanding books is to study the pictures. I have given this book 3 stars because there is little I can do about the images portrayed in the book (the sulking, turning away, angry eyebrows, folded arms, etc.) I am concerned that she may emulate the unhelpful responses/behaviour of the toddler, despite my efforts to redirect them to more positive outcomes. Rather than struggle to come up with creative ways of re-presenting the information portrayed in this book (albeit beautifully illustrated), I would recommend giving this book a miss. If you want a book that beautifully illustrates the hopes an elder sibling holds of playing with the baby as he grows up, try Mercer Mayer's 'Just me and my little brother'. Usborne's First Experiences 'The New Baby' also provides a different take in portraying a family's anticipation of and arrival of a new baby's. Illustrated in softer shades, the positive storyline involves an elder brother and sister in taking care of the baby, and the support provided by grandparents.
In a nutshell, I wish I had given this book a miss. The writing isn't fatal; it's just careless, and the playful scenes on the last couple pages of elder sibling playing in the bath and reading a bedtime book with baby aren't sufficient to justify the purchase. I hope this review helps you in your decision.