Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Books for Siblings of Preemies

Last year we got an unexpected care package in the mail. Dear soul who sent it to us - thank you. I wish, in your time of hurt and pain, we could do the same for you that this did for us. This was such a blessing.

Her package was full of books for my girls, so that they could understand what was happening to their brother. She knew us well. She knew my girls - especially my Ella - well.

These are the books we got, and my informal review of each in no particular order. (If you have a children's book for/about preemies, and I didn't include it here, it's because I didn't get it as a gift a year ago. Email me, though, and I'd be happy to add it to my yet-in-progress resource page.)  I laid on the couch, with my girls carefully nestled around me (they knew not to climb on my recovering belly) and read these books.

From Click to view more.

The Story of Katie Rose is a great book for older kids (1st grade and above) and for parents!

When I read it to my 5 year old, Ella, I thought for sure she'd get bored-- the book is longer than a kindergartner typically likes, and with real images instead of drawn pictures

That said, she loved it. She poured over it, and I think it gave her comfort to be able to become the "expert" in all things preemie related. I learned about apnea and bradicardia events and the "carseat test" through my daughter before Jonathan got even close to getting to that point, because she learned it from this book.

 The baby here was also a micro-preemie, too, born at about 2 lbs or so. Thus, it covers a large range of NICU experiences It was great to see her grow - it gave us loads of hope that Jonathan, too, would grow and we saw how much of a difference a few months can make for these little ones. Katie Rose has a few older brothers, and this book helps kids learn how to be a part of life in the NICU too. I highly recommend this book. Even if your kids are younger than a kindergartner, get it for yourself. It is easy to digest and makes all the medical stuff of the NICU a little less scary. It comes with a glossary and a picture of Katie Rose at two years old!

Image from Click for more info.

My Brother is a Preemie
Comes in My Sister is A Preemie too.  Cute book, bright secondary colors used, easy to read, not too complicated, short and perfect for older siblings that are a year to four years old.

I am pretty sure No Bigger than my Teddy Bear made me cry.  But then, as a preemie mom, nearly everything makes you cry. Good book.

Oh, and in case I forget to mention it (actually, you'll see this again around Halloween time), Build-a-Bear outfits fit three to four pound preemies. So this book speaks the truth. Thanks to his aunt, J now has a bear to wear his first Halloween costume and his NICU graduation gown. (This book has nothing to do with Build-a-Bear. I'm just on a bit of a tangent.)

Good Things Come in Small PackagesCANNOT WAIT to read this to J when he gets older.  THIS is a book for preemies, to understand all their preemie awesomeness. The boy hears from all the most important people in his life just how little he was (he could fit in his grandpa's overall pocket, he was the size of a pack of butter, etc.) It includes a bit about how the boy is SHOCKED to hear that his parents left him alone in the hospital, and then his parents telling him all about how the NICU staff became like family, so he wasn't alone, he was with people who loved him and could care the best for him.

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