6 Great Books for Older Siblings
The addition of a new baby is an exciting experience for a family. But for the child who becomes an older sibling, the event might be as bewildering as it is thrilling. Who is this new person? How do I fit into the picture now? Will this baby replace me? These are just some of the things your older child may be wondering. Luckily, there are a lot of books parents can turn to in times like these.
I’ll never forget when I was 8 and my baby sister was born. The day after she arrived, my mother read me a (now out of print) book called The Love Cup. It was all about the fact that Mommy and Daddy still loved me, even though they also loved my baby sister, and it was very reassuring. Sometimes there is nothing like a good book to get important family discussions going.
Here are some of the best books we’ve found to help young children explore all of the complicated emotions that can surface when Mommy and Daddy bring a new baby home.
What Brothers Do Best
Author-illustrator team Laura Numeroff and Lynn Munsinger show readers all the ways a brother can be super special, not just to his mom and dad, but also to his new sibling. He can push them on a swing, make music with them, and take them to the library. What Brothers Do Best is part of a series about all kinds of families, so there is one for sisters, too. The gentle sweetness of this book will remind a new sibling that even when a family changes, love is still all around them.
I’m a Big Sister
This sweet book tells the story of a new older sister talking about all the many things that make being a big sister special (and there is also an equivalent for boys—I’m a Big Brother). I’m a Big Sister is especially lovely because it reminds children that in their parents’ hearts, nothing has changed. The adorable, accessible artwork is by Rosalinda Kightley.
Olivia: A Guide to Being a Big Sister
Everyone’s favorite spunky pig has two little sibs, and this book helps explore just exactly what it’s like to be the oldest. It’s full of advice that all little ones can relate to (and stickers!). Plus, it encourages bigger kids to help out with their younger siblings, which is sure to foster more loving relationships in every way.
Once Upon a Baby Brother
Vibrant and imaginative Lizzie is a great protagonist, and this wonderful story will give any big brother or sister who feels a little left out a mighty boost. This story is especially helpful for the slightly older child who may be suffering from conflicting feelings about the new arrival. It’s a great way to reassure them that everything will be OK!
The Big Sibling Book: Baby’s First Year According to Me
The Big Sibling Book gives kids a chance to do all the things Mommy does for the new baby. It’s more of a scrapbook that helps the baby feel like “our” baby instead of “their” baby. And getting to that mentality can make all the difference in the world to a displaced older sib.
Outside Over There
By far the oddest book on the list, this is the one for the older sibling with messy, complicated emotions (meaning: all of us). Ida is charged with watching her baby sister while her mother is busy missing their father. When her sister is kidnapped by goblins, Ida’s journey to get her back, which is full of both love and resentment, is a pretty accurate depiction of what it means to be a sibling.
What are your favorite books that remind a soon-to-be older brother or sister that they will always be special and loved?