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You Were the First
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You Were the First

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  71 reviews
You will always be the first...
A touching tribute to baby's early milestones -- those unforgettable moments that will always be cherished. From first smiles to first cuddles and even to that first kiss, here's a loving ode to every child's -- and parent's -- momentous "firsts."
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  342 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This sweet book is a celebration of firstborns. I'm sure I would have given it 5 stars had I been born first. Being a second-born, I'd love to see the sequel - "Meh...You Were Second." I'm sure it would be all about the dearth of pictures of the second child, the lack of concern about bumps and bruises, the trimmed-down Christmases, the hand-me-downs... (I'm kidding, of course)
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baby-bettys
This book was really cute. I am currently pregnant with baby #3 and read it to my first born. :) I agree with other reviewers that it might unintentionally imply that the first is better than the rest, but that is also taking it out of context. The book is obviously meant to help prepare an older child for a new addition to the family. Baby Betty had a hard time when we had baby #2 and I can already see a little bit of the jealousy/worry returning. I think the purpose of this book is obvious and ...more
Hayley DeRoche
I love that this book focuses on the first child's experiences, rather than a pregnancy, or future siblings. As someone who is currently expanding our family through fostering/adoption, introducing my daughter to new siblings through picture books has been difficult since so many center around a mother's pregnancy (which is absent). That the family is also transracial is welcome as well!
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
MOMMY: 5 Stars for me, I adored this book. Pregnancy and new mom hormones aside I adored this book written specifically for the oldest child. You were the first to hit all these milestones and the first to teach us to be parents. Though there may be other siblings to come along, remember that you were the first.

Oh and the illustrations are perfect, I loved the style and look of this book.

PEANUT: At nearly 4 he really understood this book and listened intently as we read. Although he liked it
Ooh this is such a sweet little book! I could just cry reading it. It really tugs at your mama heartstrings. It didn't hurt that the little boy reminds me of Alistair. I really liked the illustrations too. Alistair cheered and clapped at the page with the beach. :)
Maria Shuffit
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely sweet and touching picture book told from the point of view of parents explaining to a child how he was the first to do many things in their lives, including the first to make them into parents. This was such an endearing book that would be a really wonderful way to explain to a child that they're about to have a younger sibling, but that does not make them any less special to their parents. It made me tear up in a happy way even though my family isn't at the same point in our lives. ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-books, 2019-books
The author of Sarah plain and tall’s children’s book: just adorable.
FM Family
Nice book for presenting the idea of another kid coming but affirming the importance of the one you've already got. Haven't used it for that purpose, so I can't speak to how effective it is in that regard, but it was a sweet and cosy book that manages to fold the idea of future siblings into the mix while still centring the experience of the kid who was the "first". I think it's a good book for kids around 2 as well, because it shows all these things they've done when they were younger as well ...more
Maggie Hesseling
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I wonderful picture book about the first child in the family. I love how it stresses that the child has come before and done it all therefore has a special place in the family. And though this can seem like the older child is in some way 'better', I don't think it does. It doesn't state that the children potentially coming after aren't wonderful as well. Only, that with the first child parents experience the world of parenthood for the first time. This book is more to make sure that the oldest ...more
Sara Sandora
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book to read to a child who is expecting to be an older sibling. This book explains to them that they were there first and that their parents will always love them the same. Nothing will change if another baby comes into the family.
What a sweet time of reflection tonight to read this book with my first born, now 4. She was delighted as we compared the characters to our family, human and dog alike. What a great book for connecting to your children. Truly a gift.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Lovely illustrations
love jenny xoxo
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this to my almost 3 year old son when I was pregnant with my second child and thought this book was very sweet :)
Tina Hoggatt
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lovely celebration of the firstborn child that takes the reader through the early, growing years of a child and reassures that however many siblings come along, they will always be the first. Lovely.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book for introducing a new sibling. Also representation of a biracial family
so lovely. My favorite line "You were the first to teach us how to be parents."
Cute illustrations. Sweet message on the surface but I can’t help but think it’s setting up siblings for jealousy and comparing. Not my favorite new sibling book.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Too specific
Kit Feral
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who had two children from day one this is not a book I can relate to at all but it is so so sweet.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A sweet story aimed at a first-born dealing with a new child in the family.
May 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
With sensitivity of expression worthy of her reputation as a Newbery Medalist, Patricia MacLachlan celebrates first loves of every kind in this book, focusing on the joy of welcoming one's first child into the world, a first that could never be replicated in any way, shape, or form. You Were the First is a reminder of that truth for parent, child, or anyone in between.

So many happiest firsts are associated with the birth of a baby. Our primary and most novel memories are from our own first
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Felicity favorite in preparing for Peter
John Simet
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Rationale: I chose this book because it has a bi-racial couple on the cover. This may seem like a small detail, but there are not a lot of example of bi-racial couples in children's literature. In fact, I cannot think of another picture book that features a bi-racial couple.

Reflection: Text to Self - My wife is black and I'm white. I would love to see a children's picture book with that demographic to read to my children. Maybe I'll have to create one myself to see it in print.

Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
Oh my. This one made me teary eyed. YOU WERE THE FIRST is just a beautiful book.

I loved the soft palette of the colors and I loved the sentiment... because there is something amazing and wondrous about your first baby.

YOU WERE THE FIRST is on my short list of book gifts for friends who are expecting. I think they'll enjoy reading it before their baby comes, and I think they'll enjoy it like I did, years later when their 'babe' is not a teenager. (gasp)

I hope they'll put up sample pages so you
Jay Benedith
This book indirectly focuses on the multiracial background of the kid since the parents are featured in every illustration and because they are the narrators. However, the direct focus is on their first born son, who is special not because (nor despite) of his multiracial background but because he exists, “lifts his head,” “crawls,” “throws a ball” and is their first child. This book is sure to make the oldest siblings in the room the proudest!
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a nice book to reassure an older sibling of their place in the family when a new baby comes home. Page by page, the parents explain that the child was the first to laugh, the first to walk, the first to sleep in the basket, and even if a new baby does those things that child will always be the first. Our 3 year old likes to read this and talk about these and all the things that he was first at.
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very sweet story. It's a bit sentimental, yes, but I think it would be reassuring to a child who's feeling a bit put out by a new baby. I especially like it because it doesn't suggest that #1 is feeling jealousy or resentment, but simply states that he will always be first no matter how many come later.
Oh, my. Our version of that book would read: You were the first to scare the cat, you were the first to despise a bib, you were the first to skip crawling and go straight to walking, you were the first to fall on your head on the sidewalk so hard we thought you were broken (that one still makes me break out in a cold sweat).

Such a great gift for the second-time parents-to-be.
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
Several Months ago we had Patricia MacLachlan as our author of the (no set time frame...not month, or week...or quarter...just when I was ready to move on to the next author)

SO, rambling aside, this is true to form, wonderful Patricia MacLachlan story. It is a great bed time story. Great for the oldest child who sometimes gets over looked. Very nicely done!
Hamish Davidson
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
With the second kid on the way in our house this was a really sweet story to read with our first born. It opened up opportunities to chat about our own experiences together as they grew up. The illustrations are charming.
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Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western ...more