Certain authors are going to find their names liberally sprinkled throughout this blog. I should tell you up front that Sally Lloyd-Jones will be one of them.
Like that cool aunt who doesn’t pat heads, pinch cheeks or pull kids onto her lap but just sits on the floor and listens to them, Lloyd-Jones speaks right to children—not at, around or down to them. Also, she works with the most original illustrators and magic happens. It just does.
You probably know about Sally Lloyd-Jones from her classic, The Jesus Storybook Bible. You probably don’t know about her from her How to Be . . . books, of which there are, fortunately, three: How to Be a Baby, by Me the Big Sister; How to Get a Job, by Me the Boss and How to Get Married, by Me the Bride. I was hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but I finally settled on this one because it was the one we met first, and because it makes a great gift for a new big sister. And, as you know, we’ve been in the market for those lately.
How to Be a Baby features one of the best narrators of my recent acquaintance (Flavia de Luce being another): a little girl, unnamed, who has handily written a guide for her younger brother full of helpful advice like,
When you’re a baby, it’s not good
because the wind can blow you over.
When you’re a baby, people eat your ice cream for you,
because ice cream isn’t appropriate for babies.
And you’re not allowed to TOUCH ANYTHING.
She is quirky and endearing and speaks like an honest-to-goodness child (as opposed to an adult trying to sound like a child, which is another thing entirely). Sue Heap’s illustrations bring the whole thing to life with texture and color and drawings that look deceptively simple and perfect.
These books make great gifts for children or adults, so if you know a big sister, a bride-to-be or an unemployed friend who really needs a laugh, look no further than the work of Sally Lloyd-Jones.
How to Be a Baby, By Me the Big Sister
Sally Lloyd-Jones, Sue Heap (2011)