Title: When You’re Older
Author: Sofie Laguna and Judy Watson
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Published: 1st March 2022
Synopsis: Beautiful, warm and evocative, this stunning picture book reveals an older brother’s hopes for the amazing experiences he will share with his new baby brother – when he’s older. A triumph of illustration and storytelling.
Baby brother, I can’t wait until you’re older.
Just imagine the adventures that lie ahead…
An exquisitely illustrated and deeply joyful celebration of the bond between brothers. Join them as they explore the far reaches of this wild and amazing world, side by side every step of the way. From two highly acclaimed and award-winning creators.
Most picture books are fun stories about animals, or for older readers, educational books that look at war, history, or many other subjects, that can complement education or begin an interest in something. Most are purely for entertainment, and as a reader, I have to say that I’ve really been enjoying many of the picture books that have been coming out, especially by Australian authors.
The new Sofie Laguna book I was sent to review by Allen and Unwin is about getting a new sibling, and how the older sibling bonds with him. A lot of books with siblings have a lot of sibling rivalry in them, but this beautiful book celebrates the bond between brothers.
It begins with an older brother looking at his new baby brother, wishing they could play together. Instead of the older brother trying to play with the baby and mum or dad stopping him, the older sibling talks to his sleeping brother about the grand adventures they’ll have when he is older and they can play together. Sofie and Judy have worked together to create a wonderfully colourful world, with lyrical text that ebbs and flows like a lullaby. Judy’s gorgeous illustrations and end papers set the scene for the story, and evoke a sense of childlike wonder and dreaming, cementing the bond between the two brothers as they get to know each other in the early days of their relationship.
It is a delightful book, and very entrancing. I think it would be wonderful to give to older siblings to prepare them for a new baby in the house or when the new baby is born, so they know that it won’t be long before they can play with their new sibling. It’s one of those lovely, gentle, and quiet books that we all need sometimes in our busy lives and in between the louder books that instantly grab our attention. I like both, but appreciate these quite, contemplative books that give us an insight into home life and the gentle relationships between siblings.
This beautiful book is perfect for any time of the year, and any time an older sibling wants to talk about their baby sibling. It gives a safe space to do this and allows the younger readers to find a way of understanding the changes in their lives, depending on their age. It is one of those books with something for everyone, and that makes sibling love the most magical thing ever.