I've been realizing lately that my two year old is really open to the power of suggestion. For example, this morning we were watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Daniel had to learn that he needed mittens and a hat to play out in the snow. A couple of hours later, she pulled her mittens and a winter hat out of her drawer, put them on and announced, "Snowing!" and then headed to the door and said, "Outside?" (Unfortunately she got her signals crossed on this one. She was supposed to be learning to dress appropriately for the weather. The message she got was that wearing mittens means you get to play in the snow. Even if it's been 100 degrees outside all week.)
With this in mind, I've been trying to prep her for some of the changes coming up in her life by getting books about the things we're going to be experiencing. For a month now we've been reading about Elmo's magical transition to a big boy bed in Big Enough for a Bed, and she now knows that Elmo picked out sheets with stripes, and she picked out sheets with horsies. The transition has been magical so far, so I think talking it up was helpful!
The biggest change we're about to experience is of course the arrival of baby sister, so I've been collecting books about that for the next couple of months as well. (She's getting two for her birthday, in fact.) Here are a few that I really love.
A Baby Sister for Frances by Russell Hoban. Frances has long been one of my favorite characters, but I didn't discover this particular book until I was an adult. (We actually found it at a used book store and I jumped on it.) It's a bit above my two year old (mostly because it's a bit long) but for older kids it's so delightful, because it focuses almost completely on the older sibling, not on the baby. Frances is bugged that the baby is getting attention, so she decides to run away - ending up under the kitchen table. Her parents talk loudly about how much they miss about her, and how sad they are that her little sister won't have such a great big sister around, and it's just hilarious. (Luckily her chocolate sandwich cookie supply gives out before too long.)
I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole. (For the record, there is also an I'm a Big Brother and an I'm a Big Sister (Spanish Edition.) This book is pretty straightforward, but it's more up my two year old's alley with it's sweet pictures and short text. The pictures are so cute, and it's very simple stuff about how the little girl can help with the baby (if she asks Mommy), how she is still so special to Mommy and Daddy, and how being a big sister is one more way that she is special. Plus it mentions the benefits of being older, like being able to play at the park and eat pizza, which I think is a nice reminder to older siblings who lose some of the attention they were getting before.
The Berenstain Bears' New Baby by Stan and Jan Berenstain. I just love the Berenstain Bears. CB is mostly into their shorter books right now (Spooky Old Tree, C is for Clown, Bears on Wheels etc.) but I think this one is nicely in between those and the longer stories. It's quite cute, focusing on Brother Bear getting a big bed because he's outgrown his baby bed, and while he and Papa are making the bed and talking about what will happen to his old bed, Mama goes ahead and has a baby.
The New Baby by Mercer Mayer. Because who doesn't love Little Critter?
Best Ever Big Sister by Karen Katz. (And of course there's also Best Ever Big Brother, for fairness.) Karen Katz is always a hit with CB. Something about those big colorful babies in her books is just so appealing, and lift the flap is always a hit with the toddler crowd. Our copy of Where is Baby's Belly Button is totally trashed because she loves it so much, and this one is also adorable (and there also appears to be a couple of different versions for personalizing - I'm for sure seeing an African-American version of the big brother book along with the little blonde kid edition, so that's fun.)
There are so many books on this topic, and I think we'll be going to the library to find a few more in the coming months. We'd love to hear your suggestions!