April 10 – National Sibling Day

sisters & brothers by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page picture book review

About the Holiday

Brothers and sisters, huh? Sometimes you can’t live with them—but you’d never really want to live without them! Sure the bad part is that they know all your secrets and your quirks and you vie for that last cookie, but the good part is that they know all your secrets and your quirks and you didn’t really want that last cookie anyway.

Today do something fun with your sibling or siblings or tell them you love them—or both!

Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World

By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

 

You know that most animals are born in a litter or with one or two other siblings, but do you really consider that they are brothers and sisters just like human siblings? You might wonder if they have the same kind of relationship with each other that people do. How do they get along? How do they communicate? Do they stay together or go their separate ways? Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World reveals the answers to these questions and more about 21 animals from around the world.

Would you like to be a clone of your brother or sister? Maybe not so much. If you were a nine-banded armadillo, though, you’d have no choice. These armadillos are always born four at a time—all females or all males—and are identical in every way! They stay with their mother until they are four months old and then set off on their own adventures.

If there are a lot of women and girls in your family, you may feel as if you’ve been born into a community of whiptail lizards. In the world of whiptails, there are no males! While their unusual reproduction method may avoid some battles, the identical traits of these creatures leaves them vulnerable to disease or changes in their environment.

Are you the youngest in your family? If you were a naked mole rat, you’d have to lie on the floor of your narrow tunnel and let your older siblings walk over you to pass. Mole rats aren’t the only ones who have worked out a hierarchical system. Brother bears fight fierce battles until the weaker one leaves to find his own territory, and black widow spiders even eat their weaker brothers and sisters!

Many animal siblings get along, however, and even help each other grow strong and develop important traits. Two of the fastest animals on earth—cheetahs and peregrine falcons—practice hunting techniques on each other, acquiring speed and accuracy along the way. There are even wildlife families that include adopted members, such as the cichlid fish and myna birds.

These are just a few of the intriguing animals readers will discover in this unique look at the world’s wild kingdom. Each animal is beautifully rendered through large cut or torn paper collages that enhance the short text, perfect for a child’s attention span. The final pages offer more information on each creature, and a list for further reading is also included.

Ages 4 – 8

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 | ISBN 978-0547727387

National Sibling Day Activity

CPB - Heart Jar

I Heart You! Jar

 

Sometimes it’s hard to say “I love you” (or even “I like you”) to siblings. But sisters and brothers like to know they’re important to each other. Here’s a gift you can make to give them that will tell them what is in your heart.

Supplies

  • A clear jar with a lid—you can use a recyclable jar or buy a mason jar or other decorative jar at a craft store
  • Red felt
  • Scissors

Directions

1. Cut red hearts from the felt

2. Add hearts to the jar—you can add as many as you like and continue to fill the jar after you’ve given it to your sibling. Here are some ideas:

  • Add one heart for each year you have known your sibling
  • Add one heart for each thing you love about your sibling (write those traits on the hearts)
  • Give a new heart whenever your sibling does something nice for you

3. Give your I Heart You! jar to your sister(s) and/or brother(s)

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