Hear ye, hear ye! Meet Sloane, heir to the throne. She has no boundaries when it comes to her royal status. Until one day, her worst fears come true and her kingdom is turned upside down! Authors Shaun Post and Sarah Post show how the arrival of a new family member (animal or human) can bring many unexpected changes and surprises. Sloane still has a lot to learn when it comes to sharing the crown of the kingdom, but she quickly realizes that having a sibling has many benefits. Ages 3–5. (Self-published)
The allegorical concept of Sloane simultaneously being a dog, a princess, and an older sister feels geared toward children in the upper ranges of the picture-book age group. The short length and whimsical art will be more to the taste of younger readers, but they’re less likely to be interested in preparing for a younger sibling. Awkward rhymes, the lack of a consistent rhythm, and inclusion of somewhat advanced vocabulary (“Don’t say this very loud, but it’s time for her highness’ bath. She really hates getting wet, so beware of her wrath”) make it a difficult book for reading aloud and unsuited to early readers. The story concludes that the new baby “taught [Sloane] to play fair, care, and share,” but these behaviors are never shown, so the lesson falls flat.
The illustrations have fun pops of color and clever little details. The art style is vaguely reminiscent of cubism and young children may find it challenging to discern exactly what the pictures are meant to portray or understand the juxtaposition of Sloane’s fantasy of riding in a royal carriage with her new reality of riding under a baby carriage. Readers who are old enough to see themselves in adorably spoiled Sloane will best appreciate her response to the new member of the family.
Takeaway: Older picture book readers will get a giggle from the quirky art in this whimsical story about welcoming a new baby.
Great for fans of Jean Van Leeuwen’s Benny and Beautiful Baby Delilah, Chris Van Allsburg.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A