32 pg. hardcover picture book
Age 4-8
May 2004
ISBN-10: 0805068368
ISBN-13: 978-0805068368
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“Ralphie ran home from school, happily clutching his egg-catching trophy. Mom and Dad would be so proud!”

Unfortunately, Ralphie’s parents don’t seem nearly as interested in his prize as he’d hoped. They are too excited about the new egg they’re hatching. But Ralphie isn’t sure he wants a baby brother or sister, especially one who gets all the attention. He must do something about that egg!
When Ralphie’s plan goes hilariously wrong, his doting family helps him realize there’s more than enough love to go around. Maybe having a new sibling won’t be so bad after all.

The Story Behind the Story

Ralphie and the Swamp Baby

The Story Behind the Story

From Day 1, my older brother did his best to make me feel unwelcome. He’s pretend to leave me in various places. Eventually, though, he got used to me. Remembering those early years of trying to keep up with a big brother gave me the inspiration for this book. That, and the idea of a tiny yellow sweater with a tail!

The original title for this was Careful Around Eggs, but the publisher changed it. Which title do you prefer?

Read more about how Ralphie came to be in this profile from Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market.

from Publishers Weekly:

“A young alligator addresses some powerful feelings in this perceptive tale about sibling rivalry. As an only child, Ralphie has always enjoyed lots of attention from his family. But now that there’s an egg in the house waiting to hatch, Mom can barely look up from knitting a tiny sweater, Dad is humming lullabies and Grandma Saurus ‘couldn’t stop talking about the you-know-what.’ Feeling greener than his usual green self with jealousy, Ralphie hatches not an egg but a plan to bring the egg back to the stork, from whence he believes it came. A harrowing — and informative — trip to the stork’s nest awakens some brotherly instincts in Ralphie, and he decides that his family’s egg (eventually a little sister) is worth keeping. In her children’s book debut, Rubin demonstrates a light touch while treading on some complicated childhood emotional territory. She paints Ralphie in true kid-like fashion, sorting through confusion, unhappiness and a change of heart. Chipper ink-and-watercolor compositions depict a cozy home and happy-faced family that could stand in for the country cousins of Lyle the Crocodile. Ages 4-7.” Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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