One Special Day – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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oneTitle: One Special Day, A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters

Written by Lola M Schaefer, illustrated by Jessica Meserve

Published by Hyperion Books, 2012

Ages: 2-5

2012 Cybils finalist.

Themes: new sibling, similes, animals

Opening line:

He was strong—strong as a (+illustration!)


Does having a new baby brother or sister make you into more than you already are?

Spenser is a boy, an only child. He is as funny as an elephant, as free as a bird and much more, but how will he be when his parents return home with a new baby? He awaits the arrival along with all the animals with whom he has been compared. No temper tantrums and jealousies for this little boy.

Why I like this book:

There are so many sibling books out there yet this one managed, for me, to come up with a unique take. I LOVED the sparsity of the text and how the illustrations finished sentences….this was also a great page-turning technique. The device of making this part animal/part new baby is very compelling. I found the illustrations joyful, bold and delightful, and befitting this bundle of boy! Very satisfying ending. The decision to begin and end with two wordless spreads is brilliant. This is a book, though very short on words, which normally frustrates me, that I don’t mind reading aloud again and again. This one had a strong vote from me as a CYBILS judge this year.


This can be a super springboard to the use of similes. Each child can come up with at least one for her/himself.

Simile worksheets

A fun activity for welcoming a new sibling.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books. This will be my last PPBF review until September, as we will be taking a summer break.

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24 Responses to One Special Day – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. cathy says:

    A fresh take on new sibling stories? Sounds great! Enjoy the PPBF hiatus!

  2. Oh, Joanna, now you have my curiosity piqued! This sounds wonderful. I will def. look for it.

  3. I’d like to read this one – a visual page turner! Ya!

  4. I like the different take on the arrival of a sibling. Sounds like a lot of the story is told through beautiful illustrations with great simplicity in words. Your activity with the onesie is such a creative idea. Sure would boost a child’s self esteeme to see they made something special for a new sibling.

  5. this sounds cute…. and I’m intrigued by the similies. what a cool way to describe an older brother.

  6. From what I understand, Joanna, few words and more illustrations are what’s “in” this year in picture books. Yours is the perfect example of such, and has inspired me to rethink my stories!

  7. This sounds delightful, Joanna! I must see if I can find it. This looks like one I must experience for myself! Thank you!

  8. Sounds great! I wish it had been around when Hannah was born.

  9. I like the cover and the opening! It sounds like a great book! I was really happy when my parents adopted Josie. I was only 2 and a half but my parents told me I used to sit by her crib and just watch her. 🙂 I remember being happy about her.

  10. Joanna says:

    Aw, that’s adorable, Erik. I can so picture you as a loving 2.5 year-old big brother!

  11. This sounds like the kind of book I’m going to have to rush out and buy for my collection. Thanks for reviewing this sweet book. I can’t wait to see it!

  12. Rhythm says:

    The cover reminds me of Mr Sendak. A favorite of mine. And I’m all for sparse words and lots of pictures. This one looks pretty good. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

  13. Joanna says:

    This one is a great marriage of text and art, Rhythm!

  14. Even though my boys are way too old for this now, I am smitten by the art and will check it out – might even have to get my own copy! 🙂

  15. Clarbojahn says:

    This is really cute. I’m checking it out. 🙂

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