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One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters
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One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  328 ratings  ·  93 reviews
A warm, imaginative, loving picture book that's just right for older siblings of new babies. Full color.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Disney-Hyperion
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Extra Yarn by Mac BarnettAnd Then It's Spring by Julie FoglianoGreen by Laura Vaccaro SeegerThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
2013 Mock Caldecott
23rd out of 97 books — 232 voters
Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin HenkesThere's Going to Be a Baby by John BurninghamThe New Baby by Mercer MayerAnother Brother by Matthew CordellOn Mother's Lap by Ann Herbert Scott
New Baby Siblings
11th out of 63 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

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What a delightful way to teach the older sibling of a new baby that a gentle touch is required. I watched a 3-year-old interact enthusiastically with this wild animal filled book as she and her grandmother read it together shortly after the birth of her new baby brother. Read my full take at Bookends Blog:
My friend who is pregnant with her second child, and has a 2 1/2 year old son who looks like the Spencer in this book (he said "that's me!"), thinks this is one of the best "older sibling" books she's found. I'm inclined to agree with her.
Recommended for storytime and as a read-aloud for new siblings, young listeners will enjoy the guessing game narrative. Parents and guardians will enjoy the message of calm and the suggestion of taking on the new "older sibling" role.
Simple, lovely and with a positive feel. This might be my new "go-to" I'm going to be a big brother/sister book. If I were alone, I would've probably cried a little, but since I was in public, I had to be my usual tough self. :)
Amy Musser
As the title suggests, this book is a celebration of older siblings. Spencer is a boy who thinks of himself as strong as bear, fast as a horse, tall as a giraffe, etc. Until one special day when Spencer became a brother and then he was quiet and gentle. The digital oil pastel illustrations depict an energetic boy romping through the garden with a menagerie of animals. The name of each animal is intentionally omitted, encouraging readers to shout out the answer, making this a great choice for sto ...more
new baby, siblings, brothers, interactive, animals
Judith Wright
Oooh, maybe a possible 2013 Caldecott contender?
Summary: An energetic and imaginative boy becomes a big brother.

Text is short and simple and has a positive big sibling message but isn't preachy.

Endpages are important and valuable to look at. The beginning end pages show all the different things the boy likes to play with on his own: climbing on rocks, pretending he is a superhero, playing with a truck, doing a hand stand. The title page show his mom and dad giving him a hug. Mom is pregnant and has a bag packed. On the first page (wordless)
Jan 30, 2013 Candice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children of just about any age who are about to become big brothers or sisters
Shelves: picture-books
This is a simple but charming book about a little boy who is about to become a big brother. Even very young children can understand what is happening in the story. On the first wordless page we see Spencer and a woman (an aunt, grandmother?) waving goodbye as his parents leave in the car. The following pages describe Spencer in animal terms. Strong as a - turn the page to see a picture of a bear. Tall as a - turn the page to see a picture of a giraffe. And so on. My daughter read it to my 2 1/2 ...more
Emily Anderson
One Special day is a story about a sweet little boy. Throughout the book he plays outside imitating different types of animals. Every animal he acts out shares one of his unique characteristics that show his identity. My favorite animal he acts out is the elephant because the little boy takes the lids of the garbage can and bang them together while stumping through his yard. At the end of the story you learn he gained another characteristic while playing in the yard. This book would be great for ...more
Fun book for kids just for the "fill-in-the-blank" of metaphors (with all answers being the pictured animals). The ending might not resound with some kids in a storytime setting--though in my current ones they would with a bunch of them! Definitely worth considering in either toddler or preschool. I think they'd enjoy seeing the boy like all the animals, and even like the ending whether or not they have a younger brother or sister.

I did get a little sniffy at the end of the book. It could be th
Bonus points for a new sibling book that doesn't assume jealousy or tantrums. The illustrations give me a little early-Sendak vibe, love it. I also really enjoyed the endpapers--Spencer playing by himself on the front pages and with his little brother, very age-appropriately and happily, on the back pages. I liked all the animals hanging out with Spencer, waiting till it was their turn. In the end, I felt like I wanted more of a balance between the two parts of the book--the animals kind of went ...more
Mia has a wonderful time entertaining herself by painting, dancing, exploring but what she really wants is to play with her brother, Spencer.
An affirming book about what a young child can do - most of it loud and moving, until a special sibling arrives to help him be gentle.

Awesome book for toddlers and elementary school kids about new siblings! I love how fancifully it's told.
Anja Manning
I didn't read the small-print part of the title so I didn't know where the story was going, but it made no difference. Spencer is a hilarious boy, full of life and mischief. The story is interactive in that important words are not written down but are the focus of the illustration on that page. This works wonderfully. The illustrations are just as full of energy as little Spencer is, until 'one special day'. When Spencer's parents bring home a little baby and he is a brother for the first time. ...more
Sweet story a little one who is about to become a sibling.
Neel like this book because it was a good book.
I really liked this book about a boy who becomes a big brother. Spencer is charmingly compared to a variety of animals, which creates a fun story to read with young boys. "He was tall -- tall as a [illustration of giraffe]." At the end of the story, Spencer waits quietly with all the animals for his parents, who arrive home with a new baby.

A really sweet story, perfect for any preschool aged boy that's about to be a big brother. Recommended for public library collections, though it's a bit youn
This book is like...a simile.
A sweet book to help older siblings cope with a new younger sibling. The attribute comparisons of the young boy protagonist to animals (e.g. strong as a bear) encourage audience participation.
There are some picture books that get everything right. This is one of them. The theme of becoming an older brother or sister has been done before, but this book has so much extra charm in the artwork, and the text is understated and powerful at the same time.

I love little Spencer's energy and imagination, and I also love how he welcomes his little sibling into the world (it's not clear whether the baby is male or female).

The endpapers are a treat in themselves.

Definitely a Caldecott contender.
Ages 4 - 6

Spencer is a lot things, fast, tall, loud, but one day he becomes a big brother and that changes everything.

This would be great for a story time about siblings. This story also incorporate a lot of unfinished sentences that are finished by the picture. You could encourage the children in story time to play the part of what Spencer is like. For example Spencer is a loud as an elephant, you could ask the kids what was in the picture and for them to demonstrate their elephant noises.
Ashley Viox
I think that this is a great book that has the potential to win the Caldecott. The reason why I think that this book has the potential to win the Caldecott is because the pictures are very descriptive to the text. The pictures are so elaborate that the book needs no words to say what the picture is of. For example the book will say "funny as a" and then there will be a picture of a monkey. I love the pictures in this book, it is very colorful and I really think this book can win the Caldecott.
Caitlin Day
I really liked this book! It was so cute and made me think of when my younger brother was born and really I really wished that I had knew about this book when he was born. It helps kids understand what's going to happen and how you are supposed to treat the new baby. The pictures are also adorable. I think any child who is going to be a big brother or sister will be excited to read this book and feel really important to their new younnger sibling.
Good for model writing
One Special Day is a sweet story of a boy who becomes a big brother. The story begs for participation. Each of the sentences telling an aspect of Spencer ends with a picture instead of a word. For example,"He was fast-fast as a " includes a picture of Spencer racing a horse. The drawings show us how determined and enthusiastic Spencer is at play, every bit a boy. Until the baby comes home. The he is gentle.
If your looking for a book to introduce young children to simili this is the book for you. If you are looking for a book for a young child who is about to become a big brother or sister this is also the book for you. I really like the way the similis are introduced through the pictures instead of the words and can imagine the kids having fun shouting out what the pictures are depicting.
The artwork is gorgeous, and the story would be great for sharing one-on-one or in a group. Preschoolers will especially love calling out which animal the boy is like (ie: strong as a bear, free as a bird, etc.) I also loved the endpages where we see the boy and his sister playing as she grows bigger. The artwork made me think a bit of Maurice Sendak's work, and is quite engaging.
Apr 04, 2012 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Phoebe
Spencer is a wild kid who enjoys exploring and using his imagination. One special day that all changes because he becomes an older brother. The focus of the story is on the fun Spencer has, while only a few pages are devoted to the new baby in the family. But this doesn't detract from the message because the pictures are so sweet.

Ages 3-5.
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