Rocio Bonilla – Siblings

Quirky Kid, Australia, 2020

Siblings is a story told from two points of view and the book itself reflects this. Read from one end, the book is in the voice of the sister, while from the other end it is in the voice of the brother. The stories meet in the middle with the same dilemma.

Barbie speaks with Dr Kimberley O’Brien, Principal Child Psychologist at Quirky Kid Clinic.

Published by Quirky Kid Clinics and used in that context as a counselling tool, this book also has equal value for the average family or in a school setting. Most of us have dealt with sibling rivalry in one generation of our families or another, or seen it in action with the children of friends. How to redirect the green-eyed monster is a thorny question that often continues into adulthood.

Siblings not only comes with a delightful language simplicity, which belies its serious subject matter, it is also illustrated in a way that young children will enjoy. The view of each sibling of the other is very clear – the baby brother is a monkey, the big sister is a monster.

However as in real life, concessions are made to affection that cannot be denied – big sister misses her baby brother when he’s away at school camp because he makes her laugh and tells imaginative stories. Baby brother takes comfort from the presence of a protective big sister when afraid of the dark and enjoys cooking and larking with her. All relationships are complex and not always easy to define.

No wonder this book is such a useful learning tool for counselling and probably for teachers in early childhood and early primary years. Its message is accessible but not hammered into the reader or listener. Parents will find much to excite discussion with their children during bedtime story sharing. It’s a gentle work, sympathetic to the child in all of us.

Copies can be obtained at www.quirkykid.com.au

Thank you very much to DMCPR for a review copy and for facilitating my interview with Dr Kimberley O’Brien, Principal Child Psychologist at Quirky Kid Clinic.