The Best Worst Brother

Isaac is almost three years old and Emma is in elementary school. Emma misses the adoring baby brother Isaac used to be. Now that he’s older, he’s a pain. Emma used to be able to make Isaac laugh. He used to let her hold him without squirming. But no more. Now Isaac spits out his food and knocks down her blocks when Emma tries to play with him. Sometimes his behavior is downright embarrassing. Emma thinks Isaac would be more fun if he’d hurry up and learn some of the sign language she and her mom are trying to teach him. His slower pace is maddening at times! This is an endearing and realistic look at how a relationship evolves between a typically developing older sister and her younger brother with a developmental disability. It also shows how sign language can help a child that acquires speech more slowly. As Emma is pleased to discover, Isaac can learn to sign, he just learns when he’s ready. For those who recognize aspects of their own family in the story, it will be comforting to read about this ‘warts and all’ sibling relationship. Ages 6 and up.

© 2005 Stuve-Bodeen, Stephanie
Audience: Children