Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Five

                              Five Books that Celebrate Siblings

I don't know about you, but I'm not wild about reading books to my kiddos that feature siblings sniping at each other, or someone constantly playing the part of the annoying kid sister. Come on, we can use all the help we can get! And sometimes, a story is worth a thousand lectures. Actually, there's really no "sometimes" about it. So here you go. My main criterion is "heartwarming, but not saccharin sweet."

Dogger, by Shirley Hughes. This is a picture book that has actually managed to return to print since my childhood, and for good reason. A young boy loses his favorite stuffed dog, and his big sister sacrifices something of her own to get it back for him. Love it.

I Was Born to Be a Brother/I was Born to Be a Sister, by Zaydek/Akaela Michels-Gualtieri. Books written by an actual brother and sister, featuring readalong CDs and go-together catchy songs. A family favorite; we go around humming, "I'm the brother, the big, big brother ..."

The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall. For older readers (9 and up, I'd say; this was a readaloud for Ian). This author successfully walks a delicate tightrope, weaving a story that portrays a warm sibling bond while keeping the sugar out and the realism in. I want to be a Penderwick!

Rachel and Obadiah, by Brinton Turkle. Another childhood favorite, featuring a footrace between a close-in-age Quaker brother and sister on old Nantucket Island. Ends with a nice twist that leaves the child to deduce the outcome.

On Mother's Lap, by Ann Herbert Scott. This is a great one for children who are expecting or adjusting to a new sibling, and are coming to grips with sharing a parent's arms, attention, and heart. The message: a mother's love expands, and there will always be room for both of you.


Eclectic Mama said...

I haven't read any of these, so I'm feeling particularly uneducated this morning.

My kids have liked The Mysterious Benedict Society; we're reading its sequel right now. (Probably for the 8 and up crowd.) They had a love/hate relationship with the Lemony Snicket books. These aren't heartwarming, but they do show siblings/kids working together and embracing each others' quirkiness rather than siding against each other.

Tamara said...

Sorry if I wrote this in an earlier comment (I sometimes just think comments, and sometimes actually write them, and I can't remember on this one :) but I read the Penderwicks at your suggestion and absolutely loved them! If you've never read the Four-Story Mistake series by Elizabeth Enright you're in for a treat. They're very similar to the Penderwick books and showcase wonderful and developing relationships among a set of siblings.