Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review: The Littlest Sister

Book Review: The Littlest Sister

By Leigh Schilling Edwards

Strategic Book Publishing, 2008
ISBN 978-1-60693-041-0
14 pages, softcover, $12.00

Reviewed by Molly Remer, MSW, CCCE

Written from the perspective of a family’s middle child—the big sister of a hospitalized baby—The Littlest Sister is designed for siblings of a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It would also be a good book for a child who was formerly a preemie themselves. There is an older brother in the story as well, which enables readers of either gender can easily identify with the children.

Color snapshots of a real family grace each page and make the book very genuine and true-to-life. The baby in the book was born at 30 weeks and has Down Syndrome and a mild heart defect. The pictures and text contain a lot of details children will identify with—there is a picture of the big brother touching the baby in her isolette, pictures of the baby sister with a tube in her nose and monitors attached, and so forth. Bottle feeding is mentioned briefly and I wish breastfeeding had been mentioned as well

I have a special interest in the subject area because I worked for the Ronald McDonald House for four years. Written in a warm, personal tone, using easy to understand language and simple descriptions, The Littlest Sister would be a great addition to the lending library resources of Ronald McDonald Houses or NICU facilities.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.


Bulldogma said...

Unfortunately we could not cover breastfeeding in the book. We omitted the fact that due to prematurity and Down syndrome, Danika's esophagus was underdeveloped. We had to stop all oral feeds and ultimately she came home with a g-tube which was the only way she could be fed for the next 2 years. As this issue is relatively uncommon for premature babies, we chose not to include those facts (which might have been disturbing to some children). I should note, she did receive breast milk for the first 3+ months via feeding tube.
Leigh Schilling Edwards

CfM Molly said...

I definitely understand that there are many reasons for breastfeeding challenges/incompatibilities with premature babies--there are also lots of families in a variety of circumstances, so it would have been nice to see a sentence such as, "some babies are able to feed at their mothers breasts" or something, so that both ways of feeding babies (in addition to nasal tubes and g-tubes) received a little "coverage."

Enjoyed your story and your lovely, loving pictures!