Has your first-born child recently been joined by a new sibling? If so, he may relate to Elmore Green, the main character in this story. Elmore Green is a well loved only child who is very happy with his life – until a baby brother comes along. The problem is that everyone is fussing over this new baby, instead of giving Elmore the attention he's used to. You and your child will find much to love in this engaging story, and can use it to talk about your own family. Reading stories about the trials and joys of having a new sibling is a great way to help your child adjust to his new situation.
Before, During and After Reading
Ask your child to predict how he thinks Elmore Green will feel when his new baby brother comes home. Talk about your own family and how it’s like Elmore Green’s family.
Ask your child questions and listen to his responses, thoughts and ideas. For example, when the new baby comes home, Elmore Green thinks that everyone likes the baby more than they like him. Ask your child if he thinks that is true. Reassure your child that parents love each and every one of their children.
Your child may start to share his own feelings during the story, especially as he identifies with the main character. It’s normal for preschoolers to feel a range of emotions about a change in the family. Acknowledge his feelings, and take time to listen to and reassure him.
Help your child make a simple picture book about himself and his new sibling. You might use photos or have him draw his own pictures. Ask him what words he would like on each page, and write down his story. Ask him to read his book to you and other family members.
Help your child develop his language skills as you involve him in helping with the baby. For example, you might ask his advice, like this:
Do you think the baby would like the yellow rattle or the blue one?
Is your preschooler a singer? Ask him to sing a song for the baby. Be sure to applaud when he brings a smile to the baby’s face!
Talk about what the baby is doing. Ask your child questions. You might say:
Look at baby’s hands. What is she doing with her hands?
Look at your baby sister’s face. What do you think she’s thinking about?
Explore other recommended children's books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.