Today is the International Day of the Girl.
I'm not sure how I feel about that. While I know that it is intended to bring attention to the needs of girls worldwide, for me, the act of naming a single day almost trivializes the issue, putting it in the same category as Talk Like a Pirate Day.
My book selection last week was a perfect selection for the issue of girls' education. If you missed it, click here for the link.
Last week's selection spoke to a time in history. Other great picture books sweep readers away by their silly or fantastic elements. The book I highlight today speaks to the everyday. It is a charming, non-didactic book addressing the issue of sibling jealousy.
Title: Bye-Bye Baby Brother
Author/Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2013
In the UK - Walker Books
Theme: Siblings - FICTION
Audience: Preschool - 2 (I think up to 5)
Opening: "What will we do now, Rory?" asked Ruby. "I can't think of any more games to play."
Rory couldn't either.
He was feeling a bit sleepy.
"Maybe Mom will know one. Let's go find her!"
Synopsis: After her little brother arrives, big sister Ruby craves attention from her mother. She amuses herself, playing with her dog Rory (the illustration of Ruby dressing Rory in "a lovely blue sweater" is one of my favorites!) but when Mom says "In a minute" one time too many, Ruby begins to fantasize about life without baby Oliver. Can she make her brother disappear in a mound of cabbages?
Why I Like this Book: Moments of sibling rivalry don't always manifest themselves in temper tantrums. Sometimes it arises in the quiet moments, like those shown in this book. I particularly like the continued calm of the resolution and the open-endedness of the book's close. While the main character is dealing with a sibling, I think any child will identify with the emotions felt in the moments when Mom (or Dad) is busy. On Ms. Dempsey's blog you can see her new and upcoming projects. After viewing her charming illustrations in this book, I see why she is in demand!
Activities/Resources: I couldn't find a guide or activity book directly linked to this book. I believe this book is intended for some of the youngest siblings who perhaps don't have full-blown cases of sibling rivalry but are just feeling left out or ignored. With that in mind, perhaps families can brainstorm activities that EVERYONE can be a part of. Visiting a farm, dancing (Mom wearing baby in a snug sac),and setting aside special time while baby naps for "big kid" activities are just a few ideas. The University of Michigan Health Care System has a post about sibling rivalry that includes suggested books and activities if true rivalry develops.
This review is part of PPBF (perfect
picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along
with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect