When Aidan Became A Brother (Kyle Lukoff)

Hello, friends! Our book today is When Aidan Became A Brother, written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, a very unique story of a little boy becoming a big brother.

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. So they decorated his room in “girly” colors and gave him a girl’s name and put him in pretty dresses. But when he grew bigger, Aidan realized that he hated all those girly things; of course, so did some of the other girls too, but Aidan didn’t feel like those types of girls – he felt like another type of boy. When he told his parents, they supported him and helped him transition, and now he’s happy being a boy, and most excited to be a big brother to his little sibling-to-be. He wants to make sure that the new baby will feel welcome and loved no matter who they are. But how can he do that, especially when the world can still be such a confusing place for him? Aidan’s willing to try – he’s determined to be the best big brother he can.

What an lovely and unexpected book. While the story centers around a transgender child, the main theme is not solely about being trans, but how we view gender. Telling it from the point of view of Aidan – a young child who has already spent his childhood examining gender roles by necessity – allows readers both young and old to question along with him as he ponders why it should matter if the new baby is a boy or girl, or how it should affect how they are dressed or treated. It allows the book to have a great range of themes: it’s a new baby book, and a book about growing up trans, and a book about societal views on gender, and a book about love and family, and a book about how there are lots of ways to be a boy or a girl, and more. It’s fresh and striking and can open up opportunities for many discussions. The artwork is the cherry on top, using bright patterns and expressive faces to create emotion and warmth. Even the author’s note is a touching reminder that by being true to ourselves, we make the world brighter and more wonderful. The length was great, and JJ loved it too. Absolutely superb, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

A Storytelling Of Ravens (Kyle Lukoff)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Storytelling Of Ravens, written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Natalie Nelson, a wonderfully quirky book about animal collectives.

Basing each illustration/text example around a different animal collective noun (such as a “storytelling of ravens” or a “shrewdness of apes”), the reader is treated to a number of delightfully weird situations in which the animals play out the literal definition of their collective name. For instance, a parliament of owls thought their motion would pass unanimously, but there was one vote of dissent. The tower of giraffes aren’t sure where the pine tree decorated with candy canes and popcorn came from, but they do know it’s delicious. And the memory of elephants was SURE that peanut patch was around here somewhere…

Strange, silly, and full of charm. While some of the jokes might fly over the heads of smaller bookworms, they are nonetheless hilarious for older readers. But most of the gags do a fantastic job of straddling simple exaggeration for little ones with deadpan text that will delight adults – who wouldn’t enjoy the image of a bloat of hippos making their way to a smokestack spewing sprinkles, accompanied by the text: “Five words: explosion at the cupcake factory”. It’s ridiculous fun aided nicely by the colorful art, and comes in at an easy length for any age. JJ and I had a lot of fun with this one, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!