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by Kevin Kling & illustrated by Chris Monroe

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-87351-844-4
Publisher: Borealis Books

Having a little brother, even one long wished for, does not always go as planned; the reality can be both a blessing and a trial.

Big Brother thought he would be in charge, but it turned out very differently. His little brother grew at an alarming rate, until he was taller and stronger, and people thought he was really the older one. Little Brother follows Big Brother everywhere, plays tricks on him and, worst of all, he touches all his toys. When Big Brother is bullied at the play center, he stands his ground, but it is the appearance of his big Little Brother that saves the day. Now all the annoying traits seem rather endearing, and they develop a mutually nurturing relationship. Big Brother tells his own story using vocabulary, sentence structure and syntax appropriate for a 4-year-old. There are no more than one or two sentences on each page, with occasional dialogue in bubbles. Kling does not overdramatize, and there’s nothing preachy to detract from the boys’ finding their own resolution. Monroe’s minimalist, boldly hued cartoons carefully and humorously depict the action. Big Brother’s emotional ups and downs are subtly expressed, while Little Brother mostly maintains an even-tempered smile.

A sweet-natured tale about negotiating sibling dynamics that is as comforting as a hug. (Picture book. 3-6)