May 24 is Brother’s Day, a day to celebrate brothers in your life. This week, 4 Mothers and guest Meg Gardner will be posting interviews with our sons about their brothers.
In the mean time, if you are looking for some ways to mark Brother’s Day, here are some new and classic children’s books about brothers:
Andrew Larsen has a fabulous new picture book out called In the Tree House, and it is beautifully illustrated by Dušan Petričić. It’s the perfect book to read for Brother’s Day because it touches on the inevitable moment in brothers’ lives when one brother migrates more towards his friends than his little bro. This book tells about that separation, and about how the brothers reunite in their tree house one dark night. My boys (5 and 7) love this book, and they were fully entranced both by the story and by the illustrations. (In one image, the brothers are playing War, and the boys always examine the illustration to see which brother has the best cards and is likely to win.)
Speaking of War, a classic book with a wonderful brother-sister pair is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Claudia and her brother Jamie run away from home on the funds Jamie has made playing War and saving his allowance. Claudia has other siblings she could have asked along on her escape from her parents’ ingratitude, but this one is rich and she is nothing if not practical. They camp out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, solve a mystery about a sculpture there, and befriend the anonymous and prickly donor. It is a fabulous urban version of a desert island tale, and the kids navigate survival in the civilized centre of the urban jungle. I have to say that, while I remember this book fondly from childhood, when I read it aloud to my 7-year-old recently, my fascination was with Claudia’s grammar. She knows that it’s wrong to have dangling prepositions and corrects her brother when dangles them. I’m not sure most
high school university graduates could tell you that today. O tempora! O mores!
Other books you might try:
The Great Brain, by John D. Fitzgerald (this is how I found out about the holiday)
Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter series
The Sam and Stella books by Marie Louise Gay
The Weasley bothers in the Harry Potter books.
The Hardy Boys series written under the collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.
Siblings: You’re Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together by James Crist
Can you suggest your favourites?