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How Albert Comes to Accept Little Henry

Best-selling author and illustrator, Jez Alborough writes exclusively about the theme of a new sibling's arrival in his new picture book

To a child, the birth of a sibling can be like the arrival of an uninvited and often unwanted guest. Uninvited because they of course had no say in the arrival of the baby and unwanted because this new being proceeds to take a sizeable proportion of the attention they have come to expect from their parents. No wonder they have mixed emotions about this momentous change to their world...


In Albert and Little Henry I explore the impact that the birth of Little Henry has on his older brother's life. Albert's a very creative dog who loves making up stories and his adoring parents enjoy hearing the amazing tales which spring from his imagination. However, Little Henry's arrival throws the equilibrium and peace of the family unit into chaos and Albert finds that nothing is quite the same as it was. Now, whenever he wants to share a new story with his Mum and Dad they seem to be either too busy looking after Little Henry or simply too tired.


If you have a younger brother or sister you'll probably relate to how Albert feels; a mixture of confusion (‘How can this be happening? Don’t my parents love me anymore?’), sadness ('Why don’t they love me anymore?’) mixed in with a certain amount of anger ('How dare they not love me anymore?’) Of course Albert’s parents do love him but the sudden change in their behaviour makes it feel to him that they don’t. With his parents' attention constantly diverted to the new baby Albert starts to feel like he's becoming invisible.


The lovely thing about telling a story in the form of a picture book is that alongside the words you can use the pictures to interpret and exaggerate what's happening in the story. In my story, as Albert feels his place in the family diminishing, he starts physically shrinking in size. Things come to a head when family and friends come round to Little Henry’s christening party and Albert’s feelings of being ignored are in danger of making him disappear altogether!


How does Albert stop shrinking? He has to learn that although things have changed since Little Henry arrived, he is no less important to his loving parents and that having a baby brother is someone else for him to love too.


Albert and Little Henry is published in the UK on ​2nd July 2015


Jez Alborough

About the Writer

Jez Alborough is the best-selling and multi-award-winning author and illustrator of almost 50 books for children including Where's My Teddy, Duck in the Truck, Hug and Some Dogs Do. His latest publication is Albert and Little Henry and in his spare time he plays in a blues band. For more information visit



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