I know, I know.
Sibling rivalry is a thing. Adjusting to a new sibling has its crying, reverting, meltdown moments.
My experience though, as a mom of four, close-in-age, children is that the much-prevailing sentiment is one of acceptance, loving affection, and pride in those wrinkly new persons that are now part of the family.
Which is why I am not head over heels in love with so many new sibling books out there that emphasize annoyance, unhappiness, and frustration. A little bit goes a long way, in my estimation.
Today’s big-sib books are long on love with just a dash of consternation. You can find lots more older-sibling books in my Welcoming Babies list here.
Little Big Girl, written and illustrated by Claire Keane
published in 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers
Matisse feels like a little girl in a big world…
…until one day, she meets “someone even littler than her.” Her baby brother.
Suddenly she realizes what a big girl she is, and what a lovely big job she has in helping care for him. Stylish, breezy, and sweet.
The Littlest Viking, written by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Isabel Roxas
published in 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Looking for something a bit more jolly and brawny than most big-sibling books around?
Meet Sven. The puniest of the Vikings, but with a wail and tiny sharp teeth to make a foe quail! Also, as befitting this saga-loving Nordic crew, a magnificent storyteller.
When Sven’s world is invaded by an even louder warrior — his new baby sister — those storytelling skills come in particularly handy. Funny, merry, with chaotic, boisterous lime green erupting across the illustrations. There’s not a bit of cutesy sweety-kins here, but a storehouse of warmth.
Lola Reads to Leo, written by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
published in 2012 by Charlesbridge
Lola is one delightful little gal. She’s elated that she’ll be a big sister soon and even asks Mom to read aloud stories especially for the baby tucked in that bulging belly.
When Leo emerges, Lola spreads stories throughout his day, chosen for just the right occasion. At the end of the day, she gets to snuggle up with Mom and Dad and have a story that’s just right for her. Warm as hot chocolate, brimming with love, this book is short, simple and dear.
Olive Marshmallow, written and illustrated by Katie Saunders
published in 2014 by little bee books
Archie has noticed some strange goings-on recently. His mother’s tummy, for example, is growing all out of proportion! One of the rooms in his house is suddenly awash in pink! What is going on here?!
Archie greets the news of a forthcoming baby sister with extreme skepticism. Pink and frilly are not his bag. However, when he finally meets that little gal, who looks to him rather like a pink marshmallow…he is smitten. Charming and cheery.
Waiting for Sophie, written by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Carmen Mok
published in 2017 by Pajama Press
Perhaps you’d like something a bit longer, for a sturdy reader to read for themselves? This easy chapter book is full of spunk and warmth.
Liam is plum tired of waiting-waiting-waiting for Baby Sophie to arrive. Even after his mom goes to the hospital, Nana explains that there’s still more waiting ahead. And here, I love Nana’s solution — being bad for a day! “There’s nothing like being bad to pass the time,” she says. This includes such dire behavior as wearing pajamas to the corner store and eating marshmallow sandwiches for lunch. Way to go, Nana.
When Sophie does indeed come home, wouldn’t you know it, there’s more waiting in store for Liam. Sophie doesn’t exactly DO a whole lot. Liam wants a buddy to play with. Find out what his most surprising solution is to this, in this lively, warmhearted account. Makes a great read-aloud for ages 4 and up as well.