Sunday, 16 February 2020

Siblings!


Siblings!  by Rocio Bonilla (Quirky Kid) HB RRP $25.99 ISBN 9780994155733

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

This picture book is two stories about siblings, and written by siblings combined in one book, in a reverse format. It is the same story told from each point of view with the same ending.

Each sibling details the problems they face with the other; an older sister describes all his annoying traits in plain text but with great visual detail. However, she does conclude that her brother is not so bad when it comes to sharing quiet times and laughing together. In the centre page spread a very noisy baby, a new sibling, is revealed forcing her to question “but ... another one?”

On the reverse, the younger brother does not like his older sister who appears as bossy girl with a rhinoceros’ head. After all the fights, he does acknowledge her talent at building towers and encouraging his bicycle riding. He also determines that she is not so bad until once again we reach the middle page, and faced with the screaming baby, he also questions, another one?

I liked the two stories and how each child talks through the challenges and advantages of having siblings. My two-year-old granddaughter took to the book and the reverse stories quickly, requesting a second reading. Adults will enjoy sharing this book: many might relate to the complex relationship between siblings. 

I have one issue with this title. I do not like the younger brother portrayed as a monkey. As this animal has been used so negatively in racist taunts, I immediately took a dislike to the graphics as this was the side that was face up when I started reading the book. I do understand that children are sometimes called a cheeky monkey so others may not see this as an issue.

The stories are realistic and funny: with the bonus of both genders being featured in this novel format, no one should be jealous!

 Recommended for ages 2 to 8 years. 



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