Title: All At Sea: There’s a New Baby in the Family
Author: Gerry Byrne
Illustrator: Faye Hanson
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: When Liam’s mum and dad bring his baby brother home from the hospital, they give Liam a family of hippos – a mummy hippo, a daddy hippo, two little hippos and a tiny baby hippo.  The littlest hippo keeps going missing and every night Liam has bad dreams…

*Free copy providd by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a lovely book aimed at children who have a new baby sibling in the family. ‘All At Sea’ is about A4 in size, although a bit shorter and wider, and is filled with thick glossy pages of colourful illustrations and text. When Liam’s mammy and daddy come home one day they bring presents for Liam and his sister Mary as well as a new baby brother.

All At Sea book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The story is quite simple but has a brilliant message. When Liam’s parents bring home his new brother they also bring Liam a present, a family of hippos. There’s are two big hippos, two little hippos and a baby hippo. Every night, when Liam’s mammy comes to tuck him in for sleep, she sees the family of hippos sitting near his bed, but the baby hippo is not there. I don’t want to spoil the story by giving too much away but Liam keeps coming up with excuses of why the baby hippo is not there and every night he has a bad dream. The story is obviously about Liam’s dislike of having a new baby brother but has a lovely ending which also stops Liam having bad dreams.

The illustrations are good. They all look like images done and coloured in pencils which give it an interesting and different look which I like. Every image is clear and they do show what is happening well, but they all have a brown hue to them which I’m personally not such a fan of. Despite the colouring, I do like the pictures, they are simple and yet you can really see the expressions and feel the emotions that Liam and others have. I also love the way the hippos look!

All At Sea book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The ending of the story is a good one and I like the way this book covers the story of a child learning to enjoy having a new sibling. It’s a good book to show and talk about with children who may be feeling nervous or even those who dislike the idea of a new baby in the family. It’s also just a fun story with the family of hippos which anyone will enjoy, although be aware that Liam’s mother is called ‘mammy’ rather than ‘mummy’ for those who thought my review had spelling errors in it! 🙂

-Review first appeared online March 2018 – now republished here.

What do you think of this book?  Do you know of any good books about introducing new siblings to kids?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂