Sarah Shaffi & Isabel Otter, illustrated by Lucy Farfort
Young, lively twins, Bilal and Sofia eagerly anticipate the arrival of what Bilal calls a “bean in her tummy” and his sister “an apple pip”. Bilal talks of sharing his favourite animals while Sofia says she’ll show the babe how to make rockets. By winter, the Ammi’s tummy has grown considerably and she tires easily so although Baba urges gentleness the children find it hard to understand why there’s a need for her frequent snoozes. Teamwork is crucial at this time is the response from Baba.
The following morning he greets the twins with the news that the birth is imminent so their parents are off to the hospital and reassures them that Grandma and Grandpa will look after them in their absence.
Now the twins focus is on whether the new sibling will be a boy or a girl though Grandpa insists that is not an important issue. Next day the twins meet their new baby brother, Farhan, whose name their mother says means happiness and laughter.
Inevitably things at home change, for the twins now have to share their Ammi and Baba with another person and sharing is more difficult than they’d expected. Most days have their ups and downs
and reminders of teamwork are made. Then the twins put their heads together and come up with an idea: I wonder what they’re planning to do …
What a smashing family both authors and illustrator have created in this warm, reassuring and affirming story: they present so well the gamut of emotions, from elation to exhaustion, various members of the family experience both before and after the birth of the baby. A lovely book to share, especially with young children in a situation similar to that of the twins.