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National Siblings Day
Families with siblings, here’s a selection of curated reading lists for you. If you have multiple kids, may your day be quiet and free of bickering.
(haha j/k OMGOSH ALL BICKERING ALL DAY LONG.)
When is it?
- Annually on April 10th on the gregorian calendar
- How to Share With a Bear (ages 2-6)
- Maple & Willow Together (ages 3-5)
- Sumo Joe (ages 4-7)
More resources to dig deeper:
- Healthy sibling relationships – Something to aspire to!
- Resolving Sibling Rivalry & Jealousy – My parenting method is to encourage them to join forces against a common enemy – whether it’s me and my refusal to give them candy (it’s not Blarney day!) or neo-nazi antivaxxer misinformation. They do love to perform a united front against evil.
- Validating stories of sibling conflict & healthy resolutions – My therapist says there’s a difference between knowing healthy ways to resolve conflict and internalizing them. So while the Earthquakes take their sweet freaking time internalizing conflict resolution without fists, I’ll just keep shoving these wholesome stories down their throats until they can make it through a day without kicking and screaming at each other. They do help, temporarily.
- Books for Kids Expecting a New Baby Sibling – Addressing and validating concerns without fear-mongering, also getting kids ready for this big life transition. These worked wonders for my 1.5 to 2-year-old as he prepared for the birth of his baby brother.
- Stories for big siblings getting used to a new baby – Expecting a new baby is not the same as experiencing life with a new baby. These are the validating, creative stories that helped my 2-year-old resolve any resentment or anxiety about this new loud, pooping, barfing creature that took up all the space in my lap.
- Understanding equity with kids books on envy & jealousy
Pesky Shadows – when little siblings get in the way
Your youngest is finally old enough to toddle around on his own. He’s no longer colicky, keeping the entire house up at night.
You hear a CRASH from the living room. Suddenly it’s not the new baby who is screaming.
These stories provide Calamus (age 3) with a script for what to do when Nikolai (age 1) smashes his block towers and touches his stuff.
Is your littlest still an infant in the slug-stage? Check out the Books for Littles New Baby book bin first. It’s full of great tools to help a new big brother or sister adjust to having a new baby in the house.
With any luck, a sibling relationship will provide a sense of security and belonging to your children that will outlast your career as a parent. A brother or sister influences who you are – who you grow up to be, and anchors you to the world in a way that parents and friends can’t.
Learning to deal with annoying siblings is how we learn to deal with the rest of the jerks we’ll encounter in life.
He’s TOUCHING MEEE
A book bin for big siblings and their pesky little shadows
For Ages 2.5 through 7
Bumblebee Boy (Davis & Soman)
Calamus’s pick for big kids with mobile little siblings
The Ladybug Girl series is amazing for both boys and girls – about a girl who celebrates the strengths and limitations of being a little kid with a big imagination. She’s also great to read to little siblings, as many books in the series address her frustrations and hopes as a little sister.
Bumblebee Boy is Calamus’s favorite book in the series (I suspect it’s the purple cape). Perfect for big kids with siblings just old enough to toddle around and get in the way, Bumblebee boy re-directs his annoying little brother with gentle kindness.
The New Small Person (Child)
Similar to Bumblebee Boy, but for slightly older children, The New Small Person offers real-life examples of how a little sibling can get in the way and wreck up the place.
Elmore is old enough to remember being an only child and how great it was before the new guy came to town. This story validates his frustrations with his little brother, ending with a sweet resolution as he realizes how great it is to have another small person in the house.
Louise Loves Art (Light)
Louise is a passionate artist working on her masterpiece.
She’s also got a pesky little brother following her around everywhere.
Her compassion is put to the test when all of her hard work is ruined.
Wolfie the Bunny (Dyckman & OHora)
Dot the bunny is alarmed to find that her parents have adopted a wolf cub to be her baby brother.
She’s terrified, “HE’S GOING TO EAT US ALL UP!” (and angry that he keeps hogging all the carrots).
Until one day Dot and Wolfie are threatened by an even larger predator.
Maple & Willow Together (Nichols)
The sequel to Maple, a favorite in the New Baby book bin follows the relationship between Maple and her little sister, Willow.
Maple and Willow spend all day together – they play together and enjoy each other’s company – until they don’t.
A small disagreement turns into a big fight, and they have to learn how to forgive each other.