Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Big Little Brother by Kevin Kling and illustrated by Chris Monroe

I am a sucker for books with children in glasses and books about brothers. This one has both although the glasses are not relevant to the story. The older brother just happens to wear them, as does the author.

But on to brothers. This book came out in November (published by Borealis Books an imprint of Minnesota Historical Society Press) and I first heard about it in my local paper. I'd link to that but darn if I cannot find it. It next had a spot in the NYT Book Review. I just had to have it.

The story is based on the author's relationship with his little brother who is indeed bigger. Check out how adorable they are in this Minnesota Public Radio video. They look just like their book counterparts!

The book opens with the older brother admitting to us that "It's my own fault. I wanted a little brother." We know where this is going, right?  As fun as the story is, what with the little brother carrying around a donut all day and the bully who threatens Thanksgiving dinner in the playschool kitchen, a deeply sentimental thread emerges when the older brother achieves the realization that his little brother is a-okay. The pages where he sings to his little brother who is having nighttime fears is striking. Yes, much of that credit does also go to Chris Monroe's art, but still, it made me sniffle a bit over my boys.

So here's to brotherly love and a great picture book from a debut children's author.  Of course this made my Best of 2011. Also, if you're not familiar with Chris Monroe, get thee to a library and check out her books! Her latest Chico Bon Bon adventure also came out this fall which I'm sure continues on with excellence, but alas my library has not received it yet.


Jenn H. said...

I thought of your boys when I saw this book.

joanna said...

Aw! It will be funny if the little one ends up taller.