by Tony Abbott
It’s the summer of 1959 and Bobby
is on a trip to visit Civil War battlefields with his
mother, older brother, and recently widowed grandmother.
Bobby is not comfortable around “chocolate colored” people
or death, so the trip from Ohio to Florida is difficult
for him. Interwoven with Bobby’s narration is the story
of a black family in Georgia, told from a variety of
first-person viewpoints. This beautifully written books
deals with the uncomfortable subjects of racial conflict,
sibling rivalry, and marital discord.
Going to Be a Baby
by John Burningham, Helen Oxenbury
When his mother tells a young
boy that there will be a new baby in the family, he is
consumed with curiosity. As the seasons change and his
mother expands, they wonder together what the baby will
do in each new scenario. Excitement and a bit of anxiety
are perfectly presented in this gentle exploration of
a firstborn’s feelings.
|Wolfie the Bunny
by Ame Dyckman, Zachariah OHora
When the Bunny family finds a wolf cub in a basket on their doorstep they are delighted. Or at least Papa and Mama are; Dot is worried that the wolf will eat them all up. Wolfie loves carrots, and Dot is sent to the store with the new baby to buy some more. She keeps a close eye on Wolfie in case he shows signs of eating her, but instead a bear at the market decides Wolfie would make a delicious snack. Dot frightens the bear with her tough talk, and the two siblings walk happily home from the market hand-in-hand. Young children will love the endearing Wolfie in his bunny outfit while adults will appreciated the gentle mockery of the hipster Bunny parents.
by Marla Frazee
From the moment of his arrival
(by taxi clad in a suit-and-tie onesie and carrying a
briefcase) the Boss Baby takes command of his new family.
Hilarious 1950s style illustrations present the increasingly
exhausted parents as they strive to cater to the Boss
Baby’s demands. This clever and empathetic book will
appeal to parents and older siblings dealing with an
infant takeover of their own family.
|Dog vs. Cat
by Chris Gall
Mr. Burton adopts a dog from the animal shelter on the same day that Mrs. Burton buys a cat. Forced to share a room, the two are determined to make the other leave home. The messy Dog drops food scraps while the neat Cat organizes a science lab. The Dog rubs balloons and sticks them to the Cat and the Cat pops them and scares the Dog. The trials of the mis-matched roommates will appeal to all siblings.
Dilemma: Big Sister Poems
by Kristine O’Connell George,
Jess, a 4th grader, is often
frustrated by her pre-school aged sister Emma, who
copies everything Jess does and embarrasses her in
front of her friends. Jess has trouble accepting
that she is always expected to be a good big sister,
while Emma runs rampant over her life and privacy.
Vivid and frank poems present the pains and joys
of having a little sister.
by Abby Hanlon
Dory (6) is the youngest in her family and she is often frustrated because her older brother and sister refuse to play with her. So Dory creates an imaginary monster friend named Mary who never tires of answering questions like, “What is the opposite of a sandwich?” Her siblings counter with the 507-year-old Mrs. Gobble Gracker who steals little girls. Luckily Dory has Mr, Nuggy, a gnomish fairy-godmother. This funny story presents an imaginative little girl who longs for the attention of her older siblings.
by Sonya Hartnett
Sadie and Ratz are Hannah’s
hands, and they are always after Baby Boy, the four-year
old younger brother Hannah wishes were a dog. Dad says
that Sadie and Ratz behave like wild beasts, especially
when they try to rub Baby Boy’s ears off. Then Baby
Boy blames Sadie and Ratz for a string of accidents
he caused himself, and given their bad reputation everyone
believes him. This funny and perceptive book delves
into the issue of sibling rivalry in an age appropriate
Harry to the Moon!
by Robie H. Harris
The narrator is less than thrilled
with his annoying, attention-hogging new baby brother
and has numerous creative suggestions for solving the
problem until he is convinced that his parents are ready
to act on his moon idea. Fresh and funny look at a classic
by Bruce Eric Kaplan
Henry and Eve are two siblings who fight about everything. Their constant battles erupt into war when Henry gets a jackhammer and Eve gets a bulldozer. The two begin to destroy everything in sight: their favorite toy store, the San Diego Zoo, the Grand Canyon, and eventually planet Earth. Eventually the joys of joint havoc brings the two siblings back to peaceful co-existence.
Rules for Living with My Sister
by Ann M. Martin
Pearl (9) knows she doesn't
measure up to her perfect older sister Lexie. Lexie
has a boyfriend and Pearl has only Bitey the cat. Lexie
is popular, but Pearl is not, because of the Three
Bad Things that happened at school. Everything Pearl
does seems to drive Lexie crazy, but their grandfather
is taking over Pearl’s room and the two sisters will
have to share Lexie’s room. So Pearl begins making
a list of rules to help them survive. This humorous
and poignant novel captures the affectionate bickering
|While You Were Napping
by Jenny Offill, Barry Blitt
A small boy’s mother promises her son that he won’t miss a thing while he is napping, but his older sister tells a different story. According to her, the Best Party Ever took place right outside his window while he was napping. Since none of the other neighborhood kids had to nap, they all came over along with the robots and the astronauts. This hilarious read aloud perfectly captures the taunting of older siblings and the gullibility of younger ones.
by Susan Orlean, G. Brian Karas
In this witty new-baby book,
our heroine trudges off to school with her enormous backpack
to take tests while her little brother lounges around
nearly naked in the park.
|The Baby Swap
by Jan Ormerod, Andrew Joyner
Caroline Crocodile is not thrilled with her new baby brother. He drools, smells, and takes up far to much of Mama Crocodile’s attention. While her mother is exchanging a hat at the hat shop, Caroline decides to make a swap of her own, and trades her brother for a series of other baby animals. But each new baby comes with new problems. The baby panda devours the cafe’s bamboo furniture and the baby elephant breaks the town fountain. Eventually Caroline decides that her own baby brother is the best fit for her family. This engaging story handles the theme of sibling rivalry in a very funny way.
with Henry and Elliebelly
by Carolyn Parkhurst, Dan Yaccarino
Henry’s pretend cooking show
takes an unexpected turn when his stubborn little sister
Eleanor, known as Elliebelly, insists they wear pirate
hats and change the name of the show to “Pirate
Cooking.” The joys and irritations of being a
sibling are beautifully portrayed in this exuberant
celebration of creative play.
Have I Loved
by Katherine Paterson
Newbery Medal 1981
Growing up on Chesapeake Bay island in
the early 1940s, Louise knows that she is hated, like Esau from
the Bible, while her twin sister Caroline, like Jacob, is the
one everyone loves. While the family pampers the beautiful and
gifted Caroline, lonely and miserable Louise learns the way of
the watermen from old Captain Wallace. Eventually Louise learns
that she has her own strengths.
|The Tapper Twins Go to War
by Geoff Rodkey
Claudia and Reese Tapper (12) are twins who can’t agree on anything. When Reese loudly accuses Claudia of farting in the cafeteria in front of everyone, she is determined on revenge. Hiding a dead fish in his backpack is a dud since he doesn’t even notice the smell, so Claudia takes the war where it will really count — to the online game Reese is devoted to. This hilarious book is told with the help of photos, text messages, screenshots, and interview transcripts.
by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Edwin Fotheringham
Tony is a macaroni penguin
caught between his bossy Big Sister Baloney and his
smaller twin Bothersome Babies Baloney. His big sister
always makes him play the minor role of kitty in their
games, and the baby twins often drive him crazy. And
then Tony and his stuffed toy Dandelion sometimes act
out and are sent to time-out until they apologize.
Bold illustrations complement this slyly humorous take
on sibling rivalry and the frustrations of being a
boy surrounded by girls.
|Dee Dee and Me
by Amy Schwartz
Hannah’s big sister Dee Dee is bigger, taller, quicker, and bullies Hannah non-stop. One day Dee Dee decides she has had enough, and pretends to run away. While playing by herself, Hannah discovers that she enjoys being in charge of decisions. When Dee Dee asks her to play dress-up, Hannah sets some ground rules so that both sisters can have fun playing together.
by James Solheim, Simon James
This funny diary written from
a newborn’s point of view documents his attempts to
understand and conquer the world around him. Our narrator
quickly figures out who is the power in his household—his
kindergarten-age sister, who is “some kind of
monkey-bar superstar,” and decides to grow up
just like her. This amusing slant on sibling relationships
will go a long way toward easing the inevitable jealousy
of the older sibling.
|Rules of Summer
by Shaun Tan
In this sibling dynamic, it’s the older brother who sets the rules and the younger brother who struggles to follow them, despite the fact that the rules are impossible to anticipate. Brilliantly colored pictures illustrate the dangers of not following the rules. An enormous red rabbit towers over the boys warned to “Never leave a red sock on the clothesline,” and a scary group of raptors enforce “Never eat the last olive at a party.” This creative book captures the frustration and joy of a sibling relationship.
|Hello in There!: A Big Sister’s Book of Waiting
by Jo Witek, Christine Roussey
The little girl narrating this book is thrilled about her new little sister or brother. But waiting is hard. As the girl wonders about the new baby and anticipates all the fun they will have together, readers can lift the increasingly larger flaps on Mom’s growing belly, watching the development of the contented baby inside.