BOOKS THAT HELP – SIBLINGS/ a NEW BABY

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THE PROBLEM WITH PENGUINS (Helen Stephens, 3-6yrs)

In the The Problem With Penguins, previously called The Night Iceberg (Alison Green Books, 2010), Helen Stephens weaves an unsettled child protagonist into an exciting, magical adventure – a world where icebergs home to penguins sail past bedroom windows.

Tofta isn’t keen on sharing everything with her baby brother, so when the iceberg drifts by one night, she decides it is only for her. But the iceberg is home to five hundred little penguins! By the end of the story, Tofta learns to share even the most special of things, and maybe – just maybe – this will apply to her new sibling when the iceberg adventure comes to an end. This atmospheric yet humorous read is great for young children with a new sibling in the house, those struggling to share, or children longing for magical midnight adventures.


WOLFIE THE BUNNY (Ame Dyckman, Zachariah O’Hora, 3-5yrs) 

Dot isn’t too impressed when she comes home one day to find a wolf cub on her doorstep! She is even less impressed when her new brother gets all Mama and Papa’s attention. ‘Wolfie the Bunny’ (Andersen, 2016) would be a good book to read with a child that has a toddler or young sibling in the family, unpicking how Dot feels when Wolfie is seemingly the centre of everything.

Throughout the story, Dot appears to be the only one that realises Wolfie might, and could, gobble them up (!) which adds to the fun and lighthearted approach to this #BookThatHelps. The twists and turns of this story eventually settle celebrating siblings and their special bond, re-affirming to readers that Dot will always be there to protect her baby brother.


THE BIG ANGRY ROAR (Jonny Lambert, 3-6 yrs)

The fun word play and collaged characters in The Big Angry Roar (Little Tiger, 2022) work in perfect collaboration for a little cub’s journey through the savannah, as he finds a way to let out his anger. When Cub has sibling troubles, he gets so angry he thinks he might POP, and sets off to find a solution. But stamping and stomping and bashing and crashing only make him angrier. Through Jonny’s characterful illustrations and dynamic text, Cub learns that everyone gets angry and that’s ok, but it is important to find a way to let anger out.

Cub’s solution feels expected initially – with deep breaths in and out – but ends with funny faces and giggles. Soon Cub feels much better and apologises to his sibling for a suitably heartfelt ending. A perfect combination of heart and humour with a relatable and empowering takeaway.


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