By Simran Divatia
BUY The New Baby and Me in paperback!
The wonderful story of The New Baby and Me shows children that they can be whatever they want to be! It’s so easy for children to feel like they are boxed into certain roles, with boys still being directed towards trucks and footballs, and girls being encouraged to love princesses. I remember loving all the toys my older brother had, and playing with his action figures and He-Man castle but also still enjoying playing with dolls and watching Snow White on repeat! Children should be allowed to play with the toys and games that they enjoy, regardless of whether or not it is specifically marketed towards them. By enforcing strict gender roles on children, they are limited in what they are allowed to do, and therefore don’t get to explore whole worlds of adventure and fun!
The fantastic picture book The New Baby and Me completely subverts this issue, portraying the five brothers who are waiting for the new baby in a variety of roles and personalities. They all differ on what they think the new baby will be like. The one thing they do agree on is that he will be just like them! The brothers each are portrayed as unique individuals, ranging from pirates and explorers, to the more creative artist and the imaginative dreamer. Hoda Haddadi’s gorgeous illustrations stay away from only showcasing stereotypical ‘boy’ colours and images, instead incorporating pinks, blues and purples in equal measure to create beautiful spreads.
Perhaps best of all is the surprise at the end of the book! When faced with the realisation that their new baby brother is in fact a baby sister, none of the boys allow this to change their expectations. Instead, she is still considered to be able to fill all the roles that the imagined brother would have been able to, from scientist to pirate! In the end, she is not simply one thing at all, unable to be placed into a singular definition. Instead, she is a little bit of everything, and most of all she is herself! This is a fantastically empowering message to all children, and especially young girls, encouraging them to explore all opportunities available, and opening important discussions about individuality and being who you want to be.
Simran was an intern with Tiny Owl
Buy The New Baby and Me in hardback
- Watch the fab book trailer here
- Fun craft activities to prepare for a new arrival!
- How different families prepared for a new baby! Read here, here and here
- Download a free book poster here!
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