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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Little Brothers and Little Sisters, written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo. Owlkids, 2018. $18.95 ages 4 and up

"In nearly every
neighborhood of
almost every town,

you will find
little brothers and
little sisters,

all longing for
the same few things ...

A turn at the wheel ... "

Younger siblings want to follow in the footsteps of their older sisters and brothers. On the one hand, it can be irritating ... if you are the older one. On the other, it can be wistful ... if all you want is to be  like your sister or brother. If you are a parent, you will know what I mean.

The cover of this winning picture book introduces the eight siblings, allowing young readers the opportunity to see just how similar they are to each other. As pages are turned, the author provides familiar scenarios for many children. The little ones can't always have what the older ones have; that does not mean they cannot wish for such things.

The move from being the ones pulling the wagon to the ones riding in it. 

The secret password that allows entrance into the tree fort.

A place on the sofa rather than the floor while watching a movie.  

If you have an older brother or sister, you have been there. Wanting more than we have because we are envious of those older than we are is a familiar complaint.

Then, in the middle of the book, an accident causes a shift. A peace offering and an apology results in an evident attitude change. From there, the vignettes provide a look at feelings of protection, help, and love. That changes the dynamic.

The art is expressive and offers numerous chances to slow down for a discussion of feelings. The background colors shift from bright white of morning to the warmth of sunset, as the siblings find strength and love in the comfort of each other. Yes, there are negatives and positives in these family relationships and we are witness to them all. At the same time, they give the reader perspective from both sides of sibling rivalry.

This book will warm your heart and bring comfort to your soul. It needs to be shared.

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