Help for teaching siblings they don’t have to be rivals
“Brown Bear, White Bear,”
written by Svetlana Petrovic,
illustrated by Vincent Hardy
The four-year old and the two-year old sat beside me, their eyes glued to the pages as grandpa read this cute little story.
Neither granddaughter moved a muscle until story’s end.
That’s a good children’s book.
The gist of the tale is that two grandmothers who compete for little Alice’s favor both gift her with bears. The bears, however, don’t get along with one another any better than the grandmas do as they vie to see which one of them Alice likes best.
Their teddy-bear version of sibling rivalry escalates to the point where young Alice needs to give both a time out — something the pre-school set will understand — and some good lessons follow.
‘Adult rivalry’ too
As much as this is a children’s book, adults who pay attention while they are reading it to youngsters have a good chance of picking up on the silliness of their “adult rivalry” for the affection of a child.
And I couldn’t help but wonder if Ellie (age 4) and Sarah (age 2) could transfer the bears’ poor behavior toward one another to the way they themselves sometimes treat each other. That’s going to take some work by adults.
But repeated readings are going to help with that, and sure enough, as soon as we turned the last page of this colorful Eerdmans book the plea came up: “Read it again, grandpa.”
That’s a good children’s book. — bz