Catherine and Laurence Anholt
This is a sensitive story about a little girl and the arrival of her new baby brother. The authors write: ‘We wrote Sophie and the new baby because we wanted children to understand the mixed feelings they may have about the new arrival in their home and to reassure them about the good times that lie ahead.’ There are lots of opportunities for talking about Sophie’s different feelings. The story is also about waiting and change, and is linked closely to changes in the seasons.
Share the story
When you read the story, pause when your child wants to talk about what is happening in the story or the illustrations
Talk about the story
What does your child like (or dislike) about the book?
Share favourite pictures and talk about why you like them.
Talk about Sophie’s feelings, how do we know how she feels? Talk together about what makes her feelings change during the story.
Retell the story
Your child could tell the story, in their own words, using the pictures to help them.
Things to make and do
Play the story
Give your child a shawl or small blanket and box or container to make a cot, they can choose soft toys to be the baby, Mum, Dad and Sophie and act out parts of the story.
Role play conversations
Look at the double page which starts ‘But on other days her brother cried’ with lots of small images. Have an imaginary conversation as if you and your child are the characters. (You could try pretending to be Sophie yourself with your child as Mum or Dad to reverse roles!)
Look at family photos
Find photos of your child as a baby and talk together about how they have changed. Were they a winter baby too? You might want to find your own baby photos and those of other members of the family, make copies if you can and stick them on a large sheet of paper to make a family ‘when we were babies’ picture.
Talk about the seasons and make a picture
What season is it now? When you go out look for signs and talk about them, scrunch through leaves in autumn, look for blossom in Spring etc. When you are back indoors make a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter picture using paint or collage with leaves for example if it is Autumn.
Find out more
Read more books by Catherine and Laurence Anholt here.
Other books Catherine and Laurence have written jointly include:
Chimp and Zee
The Great Big Book of Families
Babies love Books
Laurence Anholt has also written and illustrated a series of books about famous artists such as Camille and the Sunflowers a story about Van Gogh