The impending arrival of a new sibling can be an emotional time for a young child. While many of those emotions are quite positive and exciting, children can also feel worried about the changes that are coming. Little kids aren’t always able to articulate all these questions and feelings, so it’s up to the adults in their lives to be observant and reassuring, regardless what the child is actually expressing. Mama’s Belly is a new picture book written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Abigail Halpin depicting a delightfully loving family preparing for the birth of their second child and focusing on their first-born’s questions with an eye toward reassurance.
This curious and expressive child happily talks and sings to her mother’s abdomen, knowing that her baby sister is growing inside, and her mother excitedly shares when the baby moves around in response to the sounds of their voices. The young girl asks fun questions like, “Will my sister have freckles?”, and she volunteers to count her mother’s toes when she hears her lamenting that she can no longer see them. But, she also expresses some realistic concerns like wondering if she’ll have to share a special blanket of hers with the new baby, along with wishing that her mother’s lap will return so they can snuggle like they used to.
The little girl must also contend with other realities of having a pregnant mom who gets tired and sore, causing her to need to lie down when the girl only wants to play together. But even in these not-always-great realistic moments, both the girls’ parents provide her with calm answers and genuine love. And that love is at the heart of the girl’s final question at the end of the book, one that Mama answers in a beautiful and perfect way, leaving the girl with a warm and happy feeling.
Hosford’s text is filled with gorgeously descriptive language, and Halpin’s illustrations are an absolutely spot-on match. This book would make a wonderful gift for an expecting family, celebrating the love that comes with welcoming another child into the fold.
For a sneak peek, take a look at the sweet book trailer: