Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 25, 2021

Book Giveaway: BECAUSE I’M NEW by Brad Sneed

Brad Sneed has written and illustrated a new picture book, BECAUSE I’M NEW  and published by Sleeping Bear Press. It is available in bookstores now. SBP has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Brad.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


A new baby in the family means a lot of changes–from late night diaper changes to learning new ways to play–but in this sweet offering from Brad Sneed, baby tells their older sibling just what to expect. This is a heartfelt celebration of those first months with baby and the genesis of the sibling bond.

Welcoming a new baby is one of the most exciting and scary challenges that a family can go through/ While lots of books have chronicled what it is like to become a big brother or sister, this book is told from the taby’s perspective. The narraction makes readers wonder: what is it like to simply…become?

Short, sunny language reflects the baby’s earliest thoughts and feelings. Readers will watch them grow… and grow… and grow… into a toddler. But, as we all know, being less new just means tere’s more to do! Just like there’s plenty of fun to be had, and plenty of love to be shared, with this new title.


Several years ago, a friend and I challenged each other to write a story that parents could share with a child before or shortly after the arrival of a new sibling. It could be a way to prepare the little one for how the familiar family routine was going to change. An early version of BECAUSE I’M NEW was born of this exercise.

There are books that explore the “new sibling” topic, so it was important to come up with some way to set my story apart. That’s when it occurred to me that it might be interesting to tell the story from the infant’s perspective. Great! I had a concept. Now all I had to do was figure out how to pull it off. How in the world was a newborn going to tell her older brother what to expect now that she was a member of the family? A talking baby would be silly or even weird. I was going for a heartfelt tender exploration of the very beginning of the sibling relationship. A talking baby was out…sort of.

I decided the baby would communicate directly with her brother in a calm straightforward voice, but not by actually speaking. It seems strange as I write this, but I wanted big brother to understand baby sister as if they were connecting on a higher plane. I had to trust that my audience would intuitively understand and accept what was going on. Also, in picture book world anything is possible!

From the beginning, I knew this story would be different from my other stories, which are quite wordy for a picture book. This one was going to be spare. As I revised the text, I made a point to eliminate every word that didn’t need to be there. Of course, this meant the words that remained really mattered. The sentences got shorter and more direct. A rhythm and a tone began to develop that I found really pleasing. I found my narrator’s voice. It was tender, yet confident, which was interesting coming from a newborn.

I am new.

You are big.

I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you.

The same would be true of the illustrations.  I tend to pack my picture books with fairly elaborate, detailed, colorful images. Not this time. Like the text, these illustrations would be spare, consisting of scumbly, unfussy lines and thin low-chroma color. I even decided to omit backgrounds, so every spread consists of drawings with a few sentences surrounded by lots of white space. This choice was meant to create a visual echo of the narrator’s voice –tender, confident, direct.


This project presented challenges as I had to consistently resist my tendency to embellish the words and pictures, but the creative stretch was refreshing and extremely satisfying. The folks at Sleeping Bear Press were wonderful teammates throughout. Editor, Sarah Rockett helped iron out rough spots in the text and suggested including a dog -an important addition to the family! Art Director, Jennifer Bacheller made design choices that mesh perfectly with the art. I absolutely adore the jacket layout!

Thank you, Kathy for featuring BECAUSE I’M NEW, and giving me the opportunity to share my journey. I hope I’ve been able to spark curiosity in your readers, and they will find an opportunity to check out the book! BECAUSE I’M NEW is a book expecting parents can share with their child to help them understand what to expect when a new baby brother or sister arrives. Beyond that, I hope the book appeals to children of all ages (I’m looking at you, adults) and awakens memories and feelings from that very special time –the genesis of the sibling bond.


Brad Sneed, arthur/illustrator, was raised on a farm in Newton, Kansas. Many times he would use the objects around the family farm as themes for his artwork.  Sneed would use animals and other farm equipment as inspiration for his drawings and artwork.  The farm provided a rich start for Brad Sneed.

As a child Sneed enjoyed many things as well as drawing. Sneed talks about his enjoyment of sports and particularly football.  He says that growing up he enjoyed playing games with his sister outside in the yard.  Many of Sneed’s illustrations were inspired by his childhood on the farm.

It didn’t take long after high school for Sneed to realize that he could make a career out of his artwork and decided to pursue a degree in art at the University of Kansas.  During Sneed’s junior year at KU he was taking a children’s book illustration class, and realized that he wanted to draw illustrations for children’s books.  He enjoyed the process and the creative freedom that drawing and illustrating in children’s books gave him. His first job came from Dial Books.  The first book Sneed illustrated was Grandpa’s Song by Tony Johnston and his illustrations went along very well with the story.

Since Grandpa’s Song, Sneed has illustrated many other children’s books.  He has also illustrated for his own books.  Sneed wrote and illustrated a book about farm animals.  He also authored and illustrated Johnny Kaw:A Tall Tale, also published by Sleeping Bear Press.

Brad Sneed lives in Prairie Village, Kansas.  Sneed continues illustrating because he enjoys doing so. Sneed does artist lectures in elementary schools around the country.  He enjoys telling his story about his illustrations and his career. I featured Brad in 2011 on Illustrator Saturday. Here’s the link.

Thank you Brad for sharing your book and your journey with us. I loved reading the story from the baby’s perspective. Very clever and heart warming. Your soft muted color illustrations make the reader feel like they are right there with the baby. This is a perfect book for new parents, new siblings, and especially new babies. It overflows with love. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This is so adorable! I love the spare words and the illustrations! Too cute. Congrats, Brad!

    Kathy, I follow by email. I will share on Twitter.


  2. This book looks wonderful. I wish I could have read this to my oldest when I was expecting. It would make a great gift for new parents too. Congrats, Brad. I retweeted on Twitter and I subscribe to your daily posts, Kathy. Thanks!


  3. Congrats, Brad! This looks adorable. (I’m signed for the emails, too.)


  4. What a lovely story. Well done on the perspective and illustrations. Congratulations.


  5. Clever idea having the story told by the baby. I’d love to have a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!!


  6. This looks so sweet! And accurate, LOL. Congrats on making a beautiful book!


  7. What a wonderful way to carry this message to kids. It looks perfectly adorable. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the heads up. I follow you by email.


  8. This looks beautiful and sweet. Can’t wait to read it!
    Rebecca Gardyn Levington


  9. Such a sweet story. Love it!


  10. What a great concept. Looks like a wonderful book. Great work, Brad!


  11. Oh my goodness, Brad! I am so happy to see this new book coming out! Congratulations!


  12. Aww… so sweet. Congratulations, Brad!


  13. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I look forward to reading your book! I have a hunch I may recommend it to new parents, too.


  14. What an adorable book. Congratulations, Brad! I can’t wait to see this one!


  15. Reblogged this on Terry Pierce and commented:

    Another sweet new baby board book! Check it out on Writing & Illustrating…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: