April 10th is Siblings Day where we celebrate having a brother or sister. This is a great time to talk to children about the meaning of families and siblings, and to share a great book. The following books are great for children who will be new siblings, or who have siblings already.
A new book for 2018, The Littlest Viking, by Alexandra Penfold, tells the story of Sven, who is the loudest and bravest little viking in his community, until his little sister is born. She is louder and gets more attention because, of course, she is a warrior Viking princess. One day, Sven’s sister won’t calm down, so Sven starts to tell his little sister stories. Through stories, Sven and his sister begin to bond. The illustrations are colorful, but simply done with color pencils; they work with the story. This is a lively story to share with your family, especially if a new edition has just arrived.
Raisin, The Littlest Cow by Miriam Busch is the littlest cow on the farm and is soon to have a little brother. Of course, Raisin doesn’t like sharing attention, and soon is very frustrated. Little by little though, a change happens in Raisin, much to the herd’s delight. This is a sweet tale about a jealous older sibling who learns to love her brother. This is a brightly illustrated book that is a great introduction for any new older sibling.
Well known author and illustrator, Kevin Henkes, has a wonderful siblings book called Julius, the Baby of the World. Lilly has a new baby brother, and she is as jealous as ever! She does many silly and mean things to reject her brother, such as not drawing her brother in a family portrait. Although her actions are sometimes extreme, it does highlight the feelings many older children will, and do, feel when a new baby is brought into the family. This book, as with all of Henkes’ books, has great watercolor illustrations, but also brings to light a relatable situation for many children.
In Wolfie the Bunny, by Ame Dyckman has written a fun adoption story with fun, bright illustrations. The Bunny family has just adopted a wolf named Wolfie, but only Dot, the daughter, realizes that Wolfie could eat them. Dot and Wolfie don’t get along until a chance encounter with a bear has Dot coming to Wolfie’s rescue. This is a book about siblings who are total opposites, and is a fun read aloud for children of all ages. It’s a great book about discussing differences and adoption.