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Not Yet, Rose

written by Susanna Leonard Hill

illustrated by Nicole Rutten

Walker & Company

ISBN 978-0802853264

Hardcover PB 32p

As Rose anxiously awaits the birth of her family's new baby, she isn't sure what to expect about her new role as big sister. She isn't sure whether she wants a baby brother or a baby sister. Actually, she isn't sure she wants a new baby at all! But when the new baby arrives, suddenly everything seems just right.

Susanna Leonard Hill's text perfectly captures the excitement and apprehension of children anticipating the arrival of a new baby, and Nicole Rutten's sweet hamster characters make this an ideal story for siblings-to-be.


Kirkus Reviews

Hill beautifully portrays the seesawing emotions a young mouse feels in the transition time before becoming a big sister. Rose just cannot wait for her mother to have her baby. On Monday, Rose wants a sister, with whom she can do all her favorite things . . . but she worries that perhaps a sister would be too much like her. On Tuesday, Rose would rather have a brother, who would be different. On Wednesday she doesn't want a baby at all. Her mother's talk of being the big sister does not change her mind. Thursday's discussion with her father clarifies for Rose what babies do, but she still isn't sure she wants one. And on Friday her baby brother is born. As Rose holds him in her arms, all her fears and worries evaporate in the wonderfulness that is a new baby. Rutten's watercolor-and-pencil artwork sweetly portrays the bundle of conflicting feelings that is Rose. Her expressive face and body language make her every emotion plain. Brightly colored pictures contrast with the blue-toned illustrations that represent Rose's imaginings. A solid addition to the new-baby shelf. (Picture book. 3-7)

School Library Journal

Every morning, a young hamster races into her parents' bedroom and asks, "Is the baby here yet?" and each time they answer, "Not yet." Rose can't decide whether she wants a sister or a brother, and at one point she decides that she doesn't want a baby at all, but her mother brings her around to the idea that she'll probably like being a big sister. Dad describes the nurturing that babies require and reminds his daughter that she was once an infant who needed and received loving care, too. When a brother is born, she carefully holds him, marvels at how tiny he is, and sings to him until he falls asleep in her arms. The book ends neatly with Rose's parents asking if her arms are tired and she replies, "Not yet." Hill presents adults who encourage their daughter to process her feelings and come to her own conclusions. The narrative's pacing and structure are ideal, with the story and life lessons beginning on Monday and ending on Friday. Rutten's cheery watercolor illustrations, depicting the hamsters' life in their cozy country cottage and later in the hospital, are infused with subtle, appropriate humor. With its thoughtful text and playful art, this book gently helps older siblings confidently adjust to their new roles.


A charming getting-ready-for-a-new-sibling story, Hill's latest book stars a little girl hamster who has many opinions before the baby is born. First, Rose wants it to be a girl, then a boy, then a baby doesn't sound like any fun at all. Hill captures the small, very human anxieties of this uncertain time; for instance, after her brother is born but before she meets him, she is "very quiet" but wonders to herself about whether she and her brother will like each other. Rutten's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations convey the warm family feeling in Rose's house, and the unfinished edges of the scenes show off life as a work in progress. Rutten captures Rose's wariness as well as her cheerfulness; she also sneaks a nice tint of purple into nearly every picture. The last page uses the book's refrain to good effect. After repeatedly being told that the baby isn't here yet, Rose gets to tell her parents if she's ready to stop holding and rocking and singing to her new brother: "Not yet," ~ Abby Nolan


The New Arrival

Monday, March 1, 2010

By Pat Vasilik

Few events are as joyous as the birth of a baby. Parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts all rally around exclaiming over the infant, speculating on which relative she or he looks like, marveling at tiny toes and fingers. Everyone loves a new baby – except perhaps the new big brother or sister.

There is a wealth of books available to help prepare your older child for the arrival of the new baby. Some focus on a positive approach, others face the possibility that the new addition to the family may not be instantly welcomed by their siblings.

There are so many books that tell stories about new babies that it is hard to select just a handful to recommend. Some tackle the subject with humor, some with tenderness and others focus on the common, and dreaded, sibling jealousy.

Of the newer books, one of my favorites is Not Yet, Rose by Susanna Hill. Rose, a young hamster, eagerly awaits the new baby, even though she can’t decide if she wants a boy or a girl. (At one point in the story, she decides that she doesn’t want the baby at all, but is gently coaxed by her mother back to the idea that she’ll like being a big sister.) When her brother is born, her parents happily include Rose in taking care of the baby. This is a warmly reassuring story, which acknowledges a child’s ambivalent feelings, while still focusing on the positive.

Children's Book Reviews

October 30, 2009

When my niece first became a big sister, she knew it was an important task, but it was hard to explain to her what being a big sister really meant. If I would have had the book Not Yet, Rose, written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Nicole Rutten, I could have helped a little.

This truly remarkable book is a great way to help children cope and understand the feelings of change occurring when mom is pregnant with a new baby. Rose goes through the excitement of a sister, then a brother, then the realization she will not be the only child. In all of this, she is affirmed by her parents of the value a big sister offers to the family.

When at last her little brother is born, Rose is still a little unsure. But in the end, she gets to hold the new baby, Luke, and she realizes the excitement of being the big sister.

This is a fantastic story for parents to read to expecting brothers and sisters. It also can be a great story to explain the value of the small things in life, as well as the joy of waiting. Copies of this cute story are available now. ~ Desales Catholic Bookstore

I have supplemental materials available for the students, and ideas teachers can use in conjunction with this book. Please

click here

for those resources.

Also available in Dutch- 

Een broertje of een zusje, Roos?

All written content copyright © Susanna Leonard Hill, 2010. Site Designed by Donna Farrell

All rights reserved. All artwork is copyrighted by artist/illustrator and is noted within site pages.

Winner of the Gold Mom's Choice Award 2011

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