Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The New Small Person” as Want to Read:
The New Small Person
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The New Small Person

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,007 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Lauren Child tells the familiar tale of a less-than-welcome sibling with subtlety, insight, affection, and humor.

Elmore Green starts life as an only child, as many children do. He has a room to himself, where he can line up his precious things and nobody will move them one inch. But one day everything changes. When the new small person comes along, it seems that everybody
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Candlewick Press (first published September 4th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The New Small Person, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The New Small Person

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,007 ratings  ·  225 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The New Small Person
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids;Parents
Recommended to Carmen by: New York Times Book Review
Elmore Green loves being the only child.

Elmore Green's parents thought he was simply the funniest cleverest, most ADORABLE person they had ever seen.

And Elmore Green liked that because it is nice to be the funniest, cleverest most ADORABLE person someone has ever seen.

Unfortunately, one day Elmore is no longer the only child. His world is turned upside down by a "new, small person."

Elmore refers to this person as "it" and gives the new child neither name nor gender.

The small person followed Elmo
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Those small people, they're an upheaval, especially for those of us who were solitary and independent before the smalls came along.

If you haven't experienced this, first hand, it's hard to understand how the inclusion of a younger sibling could be a problem. If you were an only child, this might seem downright crazy (most of my only-child friends always told me how lucky I was because I had a little brother and little sisters. They were so wrong)

This story is near and dear to my heart. I underst
I always marvel at anyone who can create a three dimensional protagonist in a 32-page picture book. Bravo Lauren Child. Love this book!
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adorable! I really liked this book, it was so funny and endearing. Not to mention that I love the fact that the children are brown, but the book is not preachy, historical, or about being brown. Those books are rare. I love how Elmore refers to his little brother as 'it' or 'the small person', until he finally learns to call him Albert. ...more
Funny and sweet; highly recommended for older siblings who are resistant to change when "the new small person"enters their lives. Loved the way Elmore gradually and somewhat begrudgingly adjusted to baby brother Albert, and loved how Albert looked up to and imitated big brother Elmore. Fans of Clarice Bean will appreciate Lauren Child's winning illustrations. ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love that he considers his brother "it" at least until he looks to be at least five years old. ...more
Adrienne Pettinelli
"One awful day, the small person moved its bed into Elmore Green's room. Now Elmore couldn't get away from it. It was always there, looking at him."

This book made me laugh so hard.
Richie Partington
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Richie’s Picks: THE NEW SMALL PERSON by Lauren Child, Candlewick, February 2015, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-7636-7810-4

“Now I know that you’re just my little brother
And I don’t expect you to get everything just right
But I think you ought to use a little more sense than what you’re using
And maybe then things would be all right”
-- Suzanne Vega, “Brother Mine” (her first song, at age 14)

“But he got better when he grew up. Right? Guess again. I just got off the phone with him fifteen minutes ago and he is st
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Elmore Green is a well loved only child, satisfied with all the fun and colorful toys a little boy needs. That is until a baby brother comes along, another adorable tousled hair African American baby boy, who looks like a smaller version of him. The problem is, everyone is fussing over the baby who does nothing, instead of giving Elmore, the interesting one, the attention he requires. As time passes, the "small person" moves into his room, and even licks HIS jelly bean, an orange flavored one hi ...more
Oct 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a lovely story of a boy who one day finds out a new small person has come to stay and be part of his life.

Elmore Green has everything a kid could want: his own bedroom, toys, jelly beans, and the exclusivity of being the funniest, cleverest and most adorable person in the house. When the small new person appears all of this is put at risk. Everybody ask him to be patient because the small person is small, but the truth is that the situation only gets worse as time passes and he grows up.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was darling. The tone is just so very *English* that it's hard for me not to find it endearing - and it would have been endearing anyway.
From jellybeans to TV shows to long lines of things, Elmore discovers both the drawbacks (and maybe, possibly, the benefits) of having a Small Person around. But probably not.

I loved the "distant" language. The Small Person is only referred to as such. Or as "it." It makes a nice window into the mind of someone who was perfectly happy as an only child
Amy Holland
Popularity/appeal rating: 4

Quality rating: 4

In a one-sentence nutshell:
"Elmore did NOT find shows for small people at all stimulating."

Love how the "small person" is referred to as "it" until towards the end of the story. The small person comforts Elmore after a bad dream, and Elmore starts to realize that maybe there are advantages to having a little brother. It's a sweet new sibling story that earns points for featuring people of color without making it a "thing."

Mississippi Library Commission
This picture book is just about perfect. Is it engaging and insightful about how kids deal with a new sibling? Yep, it certainly is. Is there a portrayal of a loving and normal African-American family? Definitely, and it's not overbearing or condescending in any way. Are there bright, cheerful illustrations that suck you right into the story? Undoubtedly, and now we want to line up our jelly beans! Seriously though, we're going to be recommending this one twenty years from now. Excellent stuff. ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it liked it
The second of six books I have to read for Children's Book Day.
The premise on the back cover was much more promising than the first.
A lot of children will identify with the main character and it is a good resource for helping children to cope with feelings of jealousy at the birth of a sibling.
My reservation is that it took a really long time for him to fully accept his little brother, in fact not until he stopped being quite so little.
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
The writing is great and so true to life (especially the ending!). I loved how the words were just as much a part of the illustrations. Also, it was refreshing to see illustrations of black children as protagonists in a simple story about siblings.
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
We like Lauren Child around here, and this one was great. A nice story about how a new sibling disrupts life but is ultimately not too bad to have around. I love the pictures.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Flashback! Flashback to childhood! Great book to help a child see that things do get better with the crummy little sibling that is ruining your life.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lauren-child
This is such a cute book I really enjoyed reading. It is a book that I feel everyone would have a connection to it. A connection on how it you are the baby of the house but when the new small person comes along, it seems that everyone might like the new sibling more than you. Throughout the book it also show another example of how that new small person might be like more than you. For example, when the new person knocks over Elmore's things and even licks his jelly bean collection, Elmore's pare ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The creator of Charlie and Lola returns with a new picture book sibling pair. Elmore Green has always been an only child. He has his own room, no one moves his toys around, and no one eats his jelly beans. But suddenly a new baby enters the picture and soon Elmore finds himself sharing a room, unable to leave any of his toys unattended, and no one pays him attention. Perhaps worst of all, his jelly bean collection is licked by his little brother! Just as all seems to be falling apart, Elmore dis ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

This is the story of one of my nephews in a nutshell. M was none too happy when O arrived, apparently threatening to kick her at one point. It took him a while to warm up to her, but they seem to be getting on now. A lot sooner than it takes Elmore to adapt to his sibling thank goodness.

The subject matter of this book is nothing extraordinary. I am never particularly thrilled by new sibling books that make the new sibling seem like a bad thing eith
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy my job, especially when I get to choose great quality books for adults and kids to read. This book is quite funny. Elmore starts out as an only child, but one day things change. A new small person was brought into the family and Elmore didn't like "it" taking all of the attention. He didn't like "it" touching his things and he didn't like "it" moving into his room. He told his parents to "take it back where it came from", but to no avail. Soon "it" was following Elmore everywhere and Elm ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Child's illustrations are as charming as ever, but I didn't find the story to be so.

Elmer is an only child who resists his new brother's inclusion in the family. The younger sibling is referred to as "it" from Elmer's perspective for most of the story, which covers two or three years of life. Elmer spends the book refusing to include or engage with "someone small" and, indeed, he does not learn to appreciate the new small person until that small person is no longer so very small at all. It's not
Age: Preschool-Kindergarten
Family: Older brother, younger brother

One of the same but a relatable story for older siblings. Elmore Green enjoys the quiet and attention of being an only child. All of the things he treasures (or, at least, are mentioned by the author) are quickly stamped out as a baby is brought into the family. Although he is annoyed by his brother, he soon finds that having a companion is rather delightful. I like how Child refers to the little brother as "it" until the very end,
The Book Maven
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Okay, since I am the youngest of three, perhaps I never would have been the target audience for this book about what happens when a young boy is confronted with the reality of a new sibling. Nonetheless, I was charmed by the story about Elmore, who slowly learns to navigate the world of a younger sibling (cleverly referred to, throughout most of the book, as "It"). You get the sense that adults are present, but that it's up to Elmore to figure out how best to cope with--and ultimately benefit fr ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
An only child struggles to except the new small person who has turned his world upside down. One night, though, changes their whole relationship when the new small person turns out to be an essential ally.

Nice realistic coverage of kid emotions. I like the plot twists that bonded the brothers and the pacing that got them from mistrust to friendship.

Highly recommended for new big siblings PreK-2.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books

The "new small person" comes into your perfect world and everyone likes them better and everyone says you can't be mad at them because "they are only small" and they TOUCH YOUR PRECIOUS THINGS.

I love this book. The ending, where Elmore Green decides that his brother isn't a hellish troll-child, is cute and natural (for a picture book plot, anyway), and the illustrations are truly adorable. Highly recommend.
Juliana Lee
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Elmore Green did not like having a small person living in his house. The small person made noise and moved his things around. It even licked his jelly beans. Elmore Green asked his parents if they could take the small thing back to wherever they had gotten him, but his parents said that was impossible. Find out how Elmore Green learns to accept his baby brother. ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With loads of new babies in the neighborhood, I'll be recommending this book far and wide! Adorable pictures accompany story about having to share one's parents' attention at the arrival of a new sibling. I love the timeframe from toddler only child to toddler younger brother so Bigs can look forward to fun in the future. Also fun to see superhero outfits and TV character make several appearances! ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great story about the introduction of a sibling into an only child's life. Elmore Green loved his life as an only child. Things are going great until his baby brother enters the picture. The new small person changes Elmore's routine in ways he didn't like and some ways that he did like. Great book about learning how to share space,affection, and jelly beans. ...more
Angela Scott
Typical new sibling book, where it takes Elmore time to adjust to have a younger brother around. He doesn't seem to start appreciating his little brother Albert until he is an older child. I'm not sure what to think of this book, it's cute, but as a younger sibling I am not comforted by the fact that in the end Elmore never fully comes around to his new brother. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Another
  • A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting
  • The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story
  • La Princesa and the Pea
  • A House That Once Was
  • This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration
  • A Giraffe and a Half
  • Tuesday
  • Little Elliot, Big City (Little Elliot, #1)
  • We Found A Hat
  • How Do You Dance?
  • Some Bugs
  • Pink and Say
  • My No No No Day
  • Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
  • Thunder Boy Jr.
  • Lubna and Pebble
  • The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
See similar books…
Lauren Child MBE is an English author and illustrator. She was the UK Children's Laureate from 2017-19.

Child grew up in Wiltshire as the middle child of three sisters and the daughter of two teachers. She has always been interested in the many aspects of childhood, from gazing into toy shop windows to watching American children's shows from the 1960s. After attending two Art Schools, she travelled

Related Articles

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett...
126 likes · 47 comments