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The impending arrival of a sibling is a tricky issue to tackle with a toddler. One minute your mum is there, just as she always has been (although with a much larger tummy than normal). The next, usually after a quick stint in the hospital, she comes home with a miniature person who makes a lot of noise and takes up a lot of her attention.

Parents are always asking us for a good recommendation on this subject. I shall at some point get around to mentioning others that I like, but I wanted to highlight this one.

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It has a good balance between covering key events that happen and an engaging story. There are too many issue-driven picture books where the author has forgotten to have fun. There is definitely fun in this story.

Archie is a bit puzzled by things going on, like Mum’s office being turned into a pink-themed nursery and her sleepover in the hospital. But he accept Olive when she arrives and, as she gets older, soon sees the benefit of having a baby sister. He is no longer the baby of the family and gets to have a playmate and more toys to play with.

I was very lucky. Toby was 2 years and 4 months old when I had Jess and completely loved her the minute he met her. They are still thick as thieves, with the occasional bit of arguing, today. So for me the transition from one child to two was a smooth one – and Toby and Jess particularly enjoy reading this because it reflects their own experience. But for those whose children are less keen on the new arrival, all you can do is be upbeat and hope. And keep reading a positive – but realistic – story. This one is a great choice.

There’s a great twist at the end too. Just as Archie and Olive have settled into their lives as playmates, something happens: Mum’s tummy is enormous again….

A very enjoyable read.

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