Peter Is Just a Baby

Peter can't do any of the things that his big sister can. She can leap and skip, but he can only crawl. She only cries for very important things -- like scraping her knee -- but Peter cries all the time. She can use grown-up words and count in French; he can only say "dada" and "baba."

But after all, Peter is just a baby. Though maybe now that he's having his first birthday party, he'll be the sibling his big sister has dreamed of . . .

Behind the book:

The idea for Peter Is Just a Baby came to me many years ago when I was attending a first birthday party for a friend’s son. The birthday boy toddled around the yard with his party hat and later got chocolate cake all over his face. When it was time to open his presents, his big sister sat with him to help, but she got more and more agitated as the toys piled up. Finally, she stormed off into the house and refused to return to the party. Oh, how hard it is for any child to share the spotlight with a younger sibling! And what could be worse than your little brother’s first birthday party? I used this inspiration, added the French twist, and voilà – Peter Is Just A Baby.


"Russo flawlessly conveys the smug superiority of the 6-year-old sister, lording over her baby sibling in the baldly jealous spirit of Frances the badger."

The New York Times

Russo's characteristic bright gouache vignettes convey the siblings' trials and tribulations with cheerful humor. Stylized but expressive, the illustrations depict a wide range of feelings, from the sister's frustration with the baby's antics to quiet pride in helping her little brother at his birthday party to her resolve in waiting for him to grow up. Though the family members are depicted as bears, children with younger siblings will have no trouble identifying with the heroine.

School Library Journal

All artwork © 1995-2008 Marsabina Russo. . All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate in any form without permission.