brother and I were growing up together, it was him and me, against the
world. We were a team, and although we invariably
drove each other bananas at some point on any given day, we were sister and
brother, through thick and thin. That’s
all there was to it. No discussion. Together we felt bigger, stronger, more
secure, and, best-of-all, we always had a friend through cross-town moves, new
schools, every-other-weekend visits with our father and on family
vacations. So. . . as a sister and newly-minted
mom-of-two, I’m always looking for ways to reinforce the importance of the sibling
relationship because I know what a life
line it can be.
now, with two-year-old and 5-month-old boys, that motherly prodding comes in the
form of obsessively pointing out and exulting images of happy brothers in
magazines, songs, pictures and books. Me: WOW! Look at those brothers! They are having sooo much fun! He's too little now, but soon you'll be having a blast with your little brother! Which is why my new favorite sibling book
Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best, by Laura Numeroff with
illustrations by Lynn Munsinger. This is
a flip-over book that has the story of what sisters do best and illustrations
of sister/sister and sister/brother pairs on one side and identical text with different
illustrations of what brothers do best on the other.
This isn't a book on par with childrens' classics like Seuss, Goodnight Moon, or even The Going to Bed Book, but it is a simple, straightforward and illustrative jumping-off point to talk to the apples of your eye about the perks of siblinghood and all the things they can do together one day. I think it helps my big boy, when he's looking with total bewilderment (see right) at this little attention sponge who, though adorable, only rolls over when he's angry, to know that some day they'll be able to do lots of things together,
like climb trees, ski and help each other out. And, should a little chic come along some day, we'll be all set with the flip side about sisters.