For siblings, the happy anticipation of the birth of a new brother or sister can turn to worry and confusion when the baby is born prematurely. This is the set-up for the new children's book, Evan Early. Natalie, the book's narrator, has just become a "big sister," and the story begins with her proudly announcing, "I have a new brother. His name is Evan Earl. But he doesn't live with us, not yet." She cleverly nicknames him "Evan Early" because he arrived too soon. Like most premature babies, Evan's first home is the hospital NICU, a busy, sometimes scary place where Natalie has to learn the proper procedures for visiting her brother--washing hands with soap and water, wearing a gown to cover her clothes---and wonders what all the machines and wires do.
Natalie becomes hurt and angry because her parents seem preoccupied with Evan and spend so much time at the hospital. But when her mom tells her that Evan will need lots of extra help to grow and get strong, her anger subsides, and she begins to feel protective of her baby brother again.
Evan Early, with its expressive illustrations and realistic storyline, offers young readers a comparison to their own family's experience. This story comes highly recommended by neonatal nurses, pediatricians, and social workers.
Why We Love This Book: We love this book because it offers true consideration of the impact of a NICU baby on an older sibling.
What To Express in Your Card: I am thinking of you. I think you have had a hard time of late and I want to tell you that you are loved.