Young sibs

4-8 year olds

Andy and his Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson, 1996, Woodbine House. Like many children with autism, Andy has a fascination with objects in motion. Rosie, his watchful and protective sister, supplies a sibling’s perspective on Andy and autism.

Arnie and the New Kid by Nancy Carlson, 1992, Puffin Books. Top cat Arnie teases Philip because he uses a wheelchair. Yet when Arnie falls down the school steps and breaks a leg, twists a wrist, and sprains a tail, he begins to see life from a different perspective.

Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes: A Young Girl’s View of Her Brother’s Autism by Eve Band and Emily Hecht, 2001, Future Horizons Incorporated. When young people have questions about a brother or sister with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, clear answers can be hard to find. Written by Eve Band, PhD, a clinical psychologist, this book gives voice to ten-year-old Emily’s story: her questions about her brother, her search for answers about autism, and her exploration of her feelings as a sibling of a young man with autism.

Ben, King of the River by David Gifaldi, 2001, Albert Whitman & Co. Chad experiences a range of emotions when he goes camping with his parents and his five-year-old brother Ben who has developmental delay. 

Ian’s Walk: A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears, 1998, Albert Whitman & Company. Julie can’t wait to go to the park and feed the ducks with her big sister. Her little brother, Ian, who has autism, wants to go too. Ian doesn’t have the same reactions to all the sights and sounds that his sisters have.

Just Because by Rebecca Elliott, 2010, Lion Hudson PLC. Just Because tells of a brother’s love for his sister. He is so enthusiastic about just how loving and special she is, and delights in telling us about all the fun things they do together. Only as his tale unfolds does the reader begin to realise that his sister has a disability.

Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs: A Book for Sibs by Donald J. Meyer and Patricia F. Vadasy, 1996, Uni of Washington Press. What caused my sibling’s disability? Could my own child have a disability as well? What will happen to my brother or sister if my parents die? Written for young readers, the book discusses specific disabilities in easy to understand terms.

My Brother, Matthew by Mary Thompson, 1992, Woodbine House USA. This book offers a sibling’s point of view of the ups and downs of life when his brother is born with a disability. We understand that this book is priced highly – you may be able to source it at a library.

Rolling Along with Goldilocks & the Three Bears by Cindy Meyers,1999, Woodbine House. This story unfolds with many of the familiar scenes of the classic tale, and ends on a hopeful note. Here, baby bear uses a wheelchair, goes to physical therapy, and ultimately makes friends with Goldilocks.

The Best Worst Brother by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, 2005, Woodbine House. This endearing and realistic picture book looks at how a relationship evolves between a typically developing older sister and her younger brother with a developmental delay. It also shows how sign language can help a child who acquires speech more slowly. 

We’ll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodee, 1998, Woodbine House. Six-year-old Emma has big dreams for her new baby brother. But when she learns that he has Down syndrome, she is not so sure. This is a reassuring story for young children as well as parents adjusting to Down syndrome.

What About Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick by Alan Peterkin, 1992, Magination Press. What about me? This question lies at the heart of this poignant story, as a young girl attempts to cope with her brother being ill. This story deals with the many complicated feelings that the sibling experiences in such a situation.

What’s Wrong with Timmy? By Maria Shriver, 2001, Little, Brown & Company. What is the best response when a child points at someone who looks “different?” How can a parent talk about differences while emphasising the things all people have in common?

When Molly was in the Hospital by Debbie Duncan, 1995, Rayve Productions. This book explores the emotional concerns of a young girl, Anna, when her younger sister is hospitalised for major surgery, and shows how Anna takes part in the rehabilitation process.

Your Emotions: I Feel Jealous by Brian Moses, 1994, Hachette Children’s Group. Young children experience many confusing emotions in their early years and ‘I feel Jealous’ looks at the emotion jealousy, in a light-hearted but ultimately reassuring way.

Your Feelings: It’s Not Fair by Brian Moses, 1998, Hachette Children’s Group. Young children experience many confusing emotions in their early years and ‘It’s Not Fair’ looks at the situations where children feel they have been treated unfairly, in a light-hearted but ultimately reassuring way.