I Want a Brother or Sister is another book featuring Peter and Lena. It was titled in Swedish Jag vill ocksa ha et syskon and published in 1954. In English it appears to have had two titles: the one I read (translated by Eric Bibb) and That’s My Baby. However, because that is not complicated enough, Wikipedia lists both I Want a Brother or Sister and another book titled That’s Not My Baby. After an extensive search, I can find no proof that any Lindgren book called That’s Not My Baby ever existed. The only places I can find any trace of the title online are sites that have copied and pasted the Wikipedia list. (I can tell, because if they include the book Noby Lives in Thailand, it’s clearly been copied and pasted because no such title existed.)
Whatever the title, the story begins before Lena was born when Peter was very little. It explains how Peter wanted a sibling and then regretting it when Lena got so much attention. The book does a great job of explaining Peter’s feelings and why he was acting out. It also shows how great it is to have a sibling once they are old enough to play with. Ilon Wikland captures both children’s rambunctious spirit (in one charming full-page picture of Lena, she’s got her finger digging into her nose). At the end of the book, baby Matt comes into their lives. Peter is not too upset this time around; he has Lena to play with and knows he is loved. Lindgren has created a delightful family with good communication and lots of love to go around.
Peter became one of my favorite characters of all time when he busted out this conversation: “I think you should help me take care of Lena,” said Mama.
“Are we going to throw her out?” asked Peter.