Tag Archives: sibling rivalry

Help for teaching siblings they don’t have to be rivals

November 4, 2009

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“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
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When baby No. 2 comes along…

September 11, 2009

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“Not Yet, Rose,”

written by Susanna Leonard Hill,

illustrated by Nicole Rutten

“Is the baby here yet?”

Every parent who has another baby on the way will empathize with the answer “Not Yet, Rose.”

Better yet, parents will want to read it to their toddlers — and because the story is so right on, they won’t mind reading it over-and-over — fact-of-life for parents of toddlers — because it offers such teachable moments.

Teachable moments for adults are there, too, for those able to get past the exasperation of their child/children and see the book’s parents as role models worth emulating.

Sibling rivalry is most likely going to happen later, for sure, but Hill’s gentle touch is sure to ease the mind of many a first-born as they wonder about their own life after the baby comes out of mommy’s tummy.

Will my life change? Will it be the same?

Do I want a brother? Would a sister be better?

Maybe I don’t want a brother or a sister at all!

Rutten’s illustrations with their soft palate and warm tones create just the right atmosphere for cuddling up with this wonderfully done book from Eerdmans.

Baby No. 2 on the way? Buy this book. — bz

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