The unique relationships between brothers and sisters provide the inspiration for these books for younger readers
“Fly Away” by Patricia MacLachlan, 2014, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 108 pages, ages 7 to 10.
The special bond between a sister and her younger brother extends beyond words. Song provides a lifeline of communication between Lucy and Teddy and also brings together their family in a time of crisis. Patricia MacLachlan, author of “Sarah Plain and Tall”, writes with a vivid, yet gentle touch.
“Little Frog’s Tadpole Trouble” by Tatyana Feeney, 2014, Alfred A. Knopf, ages 3-6.
Little Frog liked having his parents to himself, so he wasn’t eager to learn that he would be a big brother to nine baby tadpoles. At first the tadpoles weren’t much fun, and they took up Mommy and Daddy’s time. But as the tadpoles grew and could play, Little Frog realized being a big brother to nine was a whole lot of fun. Illustrations, primarily in green with black ink, along with simple text share an adorable sibling story for young children.
“Ninja!” by Arree Chung, 2014, Henry Holt, ages 3-6.
Big brother loves pretending to be a ninja. He sneaks, creeps, hides, and is fast on his feet when preparing to surprise his target – Dad. But when this ninja gets in trouble for scaring his little sister, he decides to teach her the ninja ways. Lots of action and large illustrated panels may inspire young children to act out the scenes as the big brother stealthfully moves through the house. The author, Arree Chung, is a former video game designer who now works to convey a similar sense of action in a picture book.
“One Busy Day” by Lola M. Schaefer, Illustrated by Jessica Meserve, 2014, ages 3-6.
Little sister Mia desperately wants to play with big brother Spencer, but he acts uninterested. So Mia creates her own fun, making mud pies, building sand castles, and discovering treasures. At first, Spencer secretly and longingly watches Mia’s fun and eventually he joins in as brother and sister become the best of friends, at least for a little while. This book is the sequel to “One Special Day”, the story of Mia’s birth and Spencer’s beginning as a big brother.
“No Slurping, No Burping!” by Lorelay Bové, Illustrated by Kara LaReau, 2014, Disney Hyperion, ages 4-7.
Brother and sister team, Simon and Evie, are continually reminding their dad of good manners. But Dad slurps, burps, and forgets to use polite words. When the children call in their secret weapon in the war on manners, Dad becomes a quick learner. Dad’s outlandish behavior, and the hilarious illustrations can serve as good reminders of manners for readers of all ages.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler