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There's Going to Be a Baby
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There's Going to Be a Baby

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  407 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
In a first-time creative pairing, two of the world's most treasured picture
book creators offer a truly delightful book for new-siblings-to-be. (Ages 2 and up)

When is the new baby coming? What will we call it? What will he do? We don't really need a baby, do we? With sensitivity and wit, John Burningham follows the swirl of questions in the mind of a young child anticipatin
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published August 1st 2010)
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Rating details
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Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This story follows the seasons as a mother tells her little boy in late winter that "There's going to be a baby" in the fall. We watch her baby bump grow through spring showers, summer-time at the beach, and the first fallen leaves of autumn. Throughout daily errands and special outings, the little boy asks questions about what the new brother or sister will be like, and the mother proposes some ideas, maybe the baby will be a banker, or a baker, or work at a zoo, or become a doctor... The littl ...more
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children who are soon to become big brothers or sisters.
Shelves: picture-books
I've seen this advertised in several journals and was immediately enchanted by the cover illustration of a pregnant mother telling her little boy that a new baby is on the way. This is a beautiful book to read to a child who is about to become a big brother or sister. Both the happy anticipation of a new baby's arrival, and the insecurities are portrayed. The mother and boy wonder about what the baby might do - be a cook, work in a zoo, be a gardener, play with its big brother? At one point the ...more
Gwen the Librarian
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Taking a different tack on the new baby subject, Burningham's mother and child wonder what the new baby might be when he or she grows up - big brother imagines whole scenarios with a baby as zookeeper, baker, or sailor. Interspersed in the text are the regular sorts of questions like, "We don't really need a baby, do we?" that show the unease with the idea of a new sibling. The author leaves lots of room for readers to answer questions for themselves and explore their own feelings. The book ends ...more
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Totally turned off by the page that says "Then the baby might get eaten by a tiger." We all know older siblings need to adjust to a new baby, but this was just overlooked, nothing was ever said by the mother to comfort the older child or ease his fears about being a big brother.
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
love. I can't tell y'all how much I love this book./
Cara Byrne
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the genre of going-to-be-a-big brother/sister genre, this is one of the more artistically tasteful, longer narratives about a little boy who wonders what the baby entering their family will be like. I would recommend/buy this for a growing family. There is also a small instance of little boy full frontal nudity - which my 2-year-old asked about - and it's one of the few examples in children's picture books I can think of with this (Sendak's _Night Kitchen_ being the other).
Donna Mork
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mom reveals to son that there is a baby on the way. She answers a lot of interesting questions from the boy, who has to decide whether he wants the baby to come or not...and finally accepts that it is coming and he is going to love being a big brother.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Got this one because I was looking for a different title by this author and saw the illustrator on this book. Turned out to be a fun book for anyone preparing a young child for a sibling - imagining what the baby will be like in some sometimes silly ways.
Rachel Masters
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reassuring
This is a sweet book about a young boy whose mother is expecting a baby. This book would be useful for younger readers who will soon have a new brother or sister and may have lots of questions or not know what to expect.
There’s Going to Be a Baby
By John Burningham
Grades Preschool- Kindergarten
Summary: This simple picture book is told in minimal text with illustrations that capture the imaginings of a young boy who has just learned that his mother is going to have a baby. From the winter of the announcement to the fall of the sibling’s birth, the book follows the changing of the mother’s body and the child's feelings from anger to acceptance of a sibling he will love and cherish.
Discussion Questions:
How doe
A little boy ponders what the new baby will be like while engaging in a series of activities with his mother.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
There’s Going to be a Baby is a humorous concept book written by John Burningham and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. The book is set up as a conversation between mother and child, where the child asks questions about his new brother or sister. The mother’s text is in light blue and the child’s is in black so readers can differentiate who is speaking. After the introduction, the book flips between the conversation between mother and child and a wordless future sequence (e.g. ‘Maybe when the baby g ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, realism
This was written and illustrated by a married couple, which makes me wonder if it is based on actual conversations with their child. Otherwise, I'm not sure about the choice of focus -- do tiny boys really dwell on what profession their future sibling will have?

I liked the main illustration, especially the clean line work, but was bored by the more cartoonish repeated alternating pages where the boy images in the baby doing silly jobs.

With Burningham, my feeling after three books is that the mor
Allison Parker
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
I didn't rate this very high even though I think it is an important resource for parents who want to talk to their children about a new baby that is coming to the family.

The little boys imagination of what the baby might be when it grows up is funny (wordless) but it is clear what the boy is thinking.

The illustrations are fine but here is a some issue I have with this book.

First, I have never been pregnant but I see pregnant women everyday at the library with the gaggle of children. No sane pr
Reese Januik
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury’s There’s Going to Be a Baby, is a postmodernism picture book for early readers. In this book the two main characters are a mom and her toddler, they do many things throughout the book, and every time they do something the boy says talks about the baby she is pregnant with. He suggests every time that the baby could do what they are doing at that specific time. The text in this book matches the illustrations. When the boy is talking to his mom the illustration ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It shows sensitivity, wit, humour and the illustrations are magnificent. This is the first ever collaboration between two greats from the world of children's literature. The text by John Burningham walks us through six months or so of a loving mother telling her son that a new sibling is on the way. During this gestation period they talk of when the baby will arrive, what the baby might be when he/she grows up and these discussions strengthen the already existing bond between ...more
Mary Ann
Anticipation and imagination - it’s a powerful mix at work when a young boy asks his mother, “When is the baby going to come?” As they walk along, she answers in a perfectly reasonable way that it will come in the fall, when it’s ready. “What will the baby do?” wonders the boy. “Maybe when the baby grows up, it will be a chef and work in a restaurant,” suggests his mother. Hmmm..., the little boy isn’t sure that’s a good idea. Turn the page, and the little boy imagines a baby making pancakes, sp ...more
LH Johnson
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There's Going To Be A Baby is a quietly lovely little book. There's a gorgeous intimacy about it which envelops the reader from the front cover image of parent and child trustingly holding each other. I loved this. It's just lovely. Lovely. (It was very good)

Drawn in a clear and concise style and mainly structued in a text / picture (verso / recto) style, there's a delightful warmth about the artwork. You can see the mother's pregnancy developing the further you go through the book and there are
Savannah Spaulding
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This story was about a little boy whose mom tells him she is having another baby, and from there his imagination begins to run wild with ideas of what the baby will be like. At first he does not want to have a sibling and he talks about giving the baby back, but as the story goes on he starts talking about what the baby will be when it grows up. Some examples he comes up with are a banker, a chef, an artist and even Spiderman. With each thing he imagines he imagines how the baby will ruin it. Fo ...more
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This picture book charmingly portrays the curiosity and insecurity often felt by a young child who is anticipating a new sibling. A boy and his mother are depicted in various settings in different seasons of the year discussing the possibilities that the baby will bring. In one spread at a restaurant the mother suggests, "Maybe when the baby grows up, it will be a chef and work in a restaurant", to which the boy replies, "I don't think I'd eat anything that was made by the baby". These touches o ...more
I enjoyed the illustrations in this book and the way in which you see the seasons changing and the mother's belly gradually getting bigger and bigger. However, I think this is a bit abstract to help a young child understand the concept of having a new baby in the family. The ambivalence of the soon-to-be-big brother is a true-to-life choice, but his thoughts are on a level that I think would be beyond the grasp of a very young child. I'm thinking I'd use this for a 5-6 year old, maybe in additio ...more
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Snatched this up when I saw it immediately upon entering the children's room. I read some of it to Natalie during lunch. It is too older for her for the most part. I liked how it shows a large range in the child's emotions over the course of the pregnancy. I like how the mother is present throughout the book, though the child's thoughts about the baby are the focus. I didn't really like the illustrations for the parts where the child imagines the baby doing different things. For Natalie, I would ...more
There is going to be a baby by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury

A lovely story about a mother talking to her young son about the new baby she is expecting. The mother’s words are presented in light blue and the boy’s in dark blue. They wonder about the baby – what will we call it (if it’s a boy, what about Peter or Spiderman?) and what will baby do when he grows up? (do we really need the baby? Can’t you send it back?) Will he be a chef? An artist? A sailor? A gardener? After each such suggesti
Jennifer de Guzman
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a really sweet book to read to help a toddler prepare for a new sibling. The illustrations are lovely, and the text shows a real understanding of how toddlers interact with the world. The book focuses entirely on the relationship of a little boy with his mother (though his grandfather makes an appearance at the end). I find it particularly poignant, since many of the simple scenes -- mother and son eating at a restaurant, running an errand at the bank, playing in the park -- are experien ...more
Jan 25, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a book to share with a younger child when There's Going to Be a Baby. The book begins very early in the mother's pregnancy and continues until the child is born. We see the mother growing larger, while the boy is still interested in this new baby. The questions the little boy asks his mom are realistic, and there is some reluctance on the boy's part to have a new sibling, but it's a natural part of the process. The 2-page illustrations of the child's images of what the baby may grow up t ...more
Bought this as I loved the illustrations, but then sadly the baby wasn't to be and so held on to the book and read it more carefully. And now, I don't know if I can pass it on to my daughter. First, this is a yummy mummy, even when in her slippers she looks elegant. Second and most importantly , where is the father? Grandad's there but no Dad. If I send it, I'll have to include other books on the topic. Yet it is very beautiful and the different take - wondering what the baby will do when he is ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Charming. Young readers will enjoy this book. It begins with a mother telling her young child that there is going to be a baby. What ensues is the child asking questions and imagining hilarious situations wherein the baby attempts to do things like cook and paint (with disastrous results). As the baby grows in the mother, we see through the child move from being anxious to joyful anticipation. Burmingham and Oxenbury have created a sweet book that I wish was around to read way back when I was th ...more
The pictures were wonderful - but I wasn't too found of the story itself. I just feel that once again, this is a book marketed for young children but it should really be for older children. My daughter is two, and I had to change a lot of the words. The main issue I had is that the little boy in the story keeps imagining the new baby having different jobs (cooking in a restaurant, painting, working in a garden and a bank, etc). What 2-4 year old is going to imagine a new baby doing these things? ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My question is this: has there been a better book about welcoming a new sibling? I mean, ever? Beautifully illustrated and written with a subtle touch, There's Going to Be a Baby follows a mother and son through nine months of pregnancy. As the mother's belly grows, the son goes through a range of emotions - from curiosity to uneasiness - imagining what the new baby will be like. Oxenbury's simple, strong outlines and use of saturated colors add warmth to this tale that plenty of older siblings ...more
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Married to Helen Oxenbury They have one son and two daughters.

John Burningham was born in 1936 in Farnham, Surrey, and attended the alternative school, Summerhill. In 1954 he spent two years travelling through Italy, Yugoslavia and Israel, working at a variety of jobs.

From 1956-1959, he studied at the Central School of Art, after which he designed posters fo
More about John Burningham