Along with its simultaneously publishing counterpart, I Have a Sister, a fine way to imprint sex-role stereotypes on impressionable young minds.
Sandwiched between a size comparison (“He is very small. I am much bigger”) and an expression of love, a big brother—old enough to sleep in a bed, but not to sit on the toilet without parental supervision—demonstrates ball kicking, bike riding and other things “big brothers can do” for an infant sibling. In the similarly structured …Sister, a girl’s demonstration of sisterly activities inclines toward dancing, skating, helping Mommy wash the baby, telling stories and (early soccer-mom training) pulling dolls and stuffed animals in a cart. Bound in, respectively, blue and pink covers, the sturdy pages in both feature very simply drawn figures with oversized heads and dots for eyes suspended against patterned pastel backdrops. “When he gets bigger, I will let him use my bicycle,” promises big bro. For little sister, the vaguer prospect that “we will do all my favorite things together” is exemplified on the facing page with a pirouette.
It’s never too soon to start constricting a child’s options and expectations, is it. (Picture book. 3-5)