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YAY FOR BIG BROTHERS! by Janet Halfmann


by Janet Halfmann illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64351-822-0
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing

An animal book focusing on big brothers offers reflection questions for older siblings to ponder.

A human big brother and his younger sibling, both presenting White, leaf through a book (readers will note it is the book they are holding) to learn about big brothers of other species. Several animals, including naked mole rats, hoary marmots, and beavers, are presented in successive double-page spreads. One to three sentences of information appear on verso, with one question for readers on recto. Some of the questions are open-ended, asking kids to consider how big brothers help younger siblings stay safe. Other queries are straightforward, asking about eating preferences and favorite games after sharing facts about the crow and kangaroo, respectively. While the title speaks to brothers, presumably older siblings of any gender would revel in answering. Illustrations present each animal family like paper dolls. The vibrantly colored animals have slightly anthropomorphic eyes and lie flat on the landscape of their natural environment. While this style doesn’t necessarily command attention, it presents images cleanly. The predictable rhythm and simple visuals are soothing and allow for focus on the discussion questions posed in each spread. Racial diversity is present in an ensemble spread of human sibling pairs. However, each one of these shares exact skin tone and hair texture between the two, homogenizing their seen identities.


(glossary, charts, facts) (Informational picture book. 4-8)