Henry helps take care of Penny, his infant sister. He likes to get the things she needs. If Penny’s diaper needs changed, Henry gets a clean diaper. He finds Penny’s hat when everyone goes on a walk. At bath time, Henry shares his bath toys, and when Penny is hungry, Henry shares mom.
Henry is a very attentive brother and intuitive. When his sister cries he gives her a kiss. At bedtime, Henry will sing Penny a lullaby. Henry is helpful around the house doing little things to help. These small responsibilities keep Henry active with Penny and can only help their relationship as they grow.
This is a good book for a new big brother, or maybe one not so new, yet not completely happy with his new sibling. The book helps show how the older brother (or sister) can help and how a relationship can develop from the very beginning. On the back cover, there are helpful pointers for parents from a parent educator. She suggests making every child a part of the family team with helpful and simple guidelines. One of those guidelines is to focus on the effort not the result when giving a child a task to do.
I like this book more than any other I have read about big brothers and big sisters dealing with an infant sibling. Henry Helps with the Baby is completely positive, joyful, and easy for any three-year-old to imitate. The illustrations realistically show each task Henry does while keeping the characters fun.
The story begins with Penny in Mom’s lap crying and Henry sitting next to them looking forlorn. He learns that Penny is in need of a lot of help. Henry knows he is a good helper and starts helping. Young children will be able to identify with Henry. They will love reading this book, perhaps many times before the new baby even arrives. I imagine young children will insist on helping after reading Henry Helps with the Baby.
Author: Beth Bracken Illustrator: Ailie Busby Publisher: Picture Window Books (Capstone) Publication Date: February 2012 Number of Pages: 22 ISBN: 978-1-4048-7381-0