Five best books for second (or third)-time parents

5. "Julius, the Baby of the World," by Kevin Henkes

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5. Julius, the Baby of the World, by Kevin Henkes. This diabolically funny tale shows Lilly, a young girl mouse, reacting to the arrival of baby brother Julius. Highlights include Lilly singing her new brother a mixed-up version of the alphabet to thwart her parents' goal that he grow up “to be as clever as you,” and telling Julius a story that includes these lines: “Julius was like dust under your bed. If he were a number, it would be zero.” (This earns Lilly 10 minutes in the uncooperative chair.) The book is often recommended as a gift for siblings. I find it a bit harsh for younger kids – but parents need to read it to remind themselves how kid No. 1 may truly feel about their own new “baby of the world.”

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