Charlie and the New Baby, by Ree Drummond with wonderful illustrations by Diane deGroat (Harper, 2014, $17.99, 40 pages, ages 4-8)
First Things First
Of course you would want to read the first book first, Charlie the Ranch Dog, to your children but also, right afterwards let them “read” Charlie and the New Baby to you which is, of the five in the Charlie collection so far, the most “picture-y” of the books.
Diane deGroat does a simply marvelous job of creating illustrations that tell the story putting you in the picture, leaving almost no need for words, thus making The New Baby a good starter book for the younger set – they can tell the story themselves almost the first time!
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
If your child knows and loves Charlie already, you can ask him to guess who the new baby is and what Charlie thinks of it – I bet Son or Daughter will be surprised and delighted.
I suspect that each book may be a real-life situation from the Drummond Ranch family life – each has counter-themes running through and sometimes taking over. Isn’t it amazing how daily life can be so exciting and educational to those with other daily lives?
Our amazing author, Ann Marie (“Ree”) Drummond is shown on the back cover looking much like the real Charlie (Basset Hound) with red hair, both. How she manages to blog about cooking, homeschool her brood of four, and write about a ranch neophyte (herself) and cooking and dogs, is beyond me!
I’m sure the Drummond Ranch looks just like it is depicted – idyllic, grasslands, nearly treeless – after all we are in Oklahoma!
Nose Bent out of Shape?
Children identify with Charlie (and all the kids that belong to him). Charlie has his favorite foods, his favorite activities and he even gets bent out of shape for a while with this new baby. But love comes to the rescue.
The Charlie book with more of a lesson than the others perhaps, The New Baby still is a fun read for kids of all ages.
Next: Charlie Plays Ball, the final Charlie book (so far)
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