May 24 – National Brother’s Day

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About the Holiday

Today we honor the brothers in our lives who spend time with us, share our memories, lend a helping hand, and are best lifelong friends. To celebrate, spend time with your brother or brothers. If you don’t live close, give your brother a call and reminisce!

I Am a Big Brother!

By Caroline Jayne Church

 

A little boy gazes at the new tiny bundle that’s come home today. He smiles at the sparkling eyes and itty-bitty fingers. “I’m a big brother now, hooray!” he says. He remembers when he was as small as the new baby, but now he’s big enough to help push the stroller and give the baby a bottle. And he can “always find what baby needs”–even a clean diaper when the old one is dirty.

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Copyright Caroline Jayne Church, courtesy of Cartwheel Books

His mom and dad tell him he’s so clever when he entertains the baby with his teddy bear and toys. He knows that he’s “the best big brother ever!” He cuddles with his new baby and gives tickles until the air is filled with giggles. When it’s bath time, the little boy holds the sponge and splashes in the bubbles.

He helps put the baby to bed for naptime and then plays quietly with his toys nearby, watching over his little charge. “But if baby wakes with cranky cries,” he says, “I softly sing sweet lullabies.” He’s looking forward to his baby getting bigger and a time when they can play together because he knows that he is “a big brother forever” and that he, the baby, Mommy, and Daddy are a family who love each other.

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Copyright Caroline Jayne Church, courtesy of Cartwheel Books

Caroline Jayne Church’s new big brother is a cutie full of joy and the excitement of responsibility when a baby joins the family. The bubbly and cozy rhymes and fun vocabulary will engage little ones as they make this life-changing transition. Young readers will see that they can help with the new baby and will be reassured that they are always an important and loved part of the family.

Church’s adorable brother and baby will charm little ones who already are or are about to become a brother. Their sweet expressions, cuddly toys, and comfy, colorful jammies will make any child smile.

Ages 1 – 4

Cartwheel Books, 2015

Discover more about Caroline Jayne Church, her books, and her artwork on her website!

National Brother’s Day Activity

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Best Big Brother Certificate

 

Being a great big brother is something to be celebrated! Here’s a printable Best Big Brother Certificate for the brothers in your life!

Picture Book Review

May 24 – Brother’s Day

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About the Holiday

Brothers share a special bond built on mischief, inside jokes, shared experience, and love. If you have a brother—either by blood or friendship—spend some time with him, give him a call, or just text and say, “hi.”

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors

Written by Chris Barton | Illustrated by Tony Persiani

 

Before the Switzer brothers had their bright idea, the world was a much less colorful place. Bob Switzer, born in 1914, loved to work and saved his money for exciting plans. His younger brother Joe loved magic and had an inventive mind. When the family moved to Berkley, California, Joe developed a magic act that included “black art” in which an object that was painted half black and half white seemed to float and disappear in midair.

Joe loved this trick but thought it could be better. Meanwhile Bob planned to become a doctor. But during the summer before he began college, Bob had an accident that ended his plans. Because his injury effected his head, he had to recover in a darkened room. While Bob healed, Joe spent time in the basement with him studying the glow of fluorescence, hoping to use it in his magic show. Together the brothers built an ultraviolet lamp which they tested in their father’s pharmacy. When they shone it on a shelf full of bottles, a container of eyewash glowed yellow.

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Image copyright Tony Persiani, text copyright Chris Barton. Courtesy of Charlesbridge

The brothers had an idea. They experimented with chemicals that could make paints glow in the dark. In regular light the paint looked normal, but under ultraviolet light it radiated attention-getting colors. That was great for Joe’s magic act, but Bob thought these paints could be used for other things too, such as store-window displays. Selling the paint could help pay for Bob’s medical bills too.

Bob and Joe searched through the university and other labs for other fluorescent materials. They then combined them with other ingredients in their mother’s mixing bowl to create glowing paints and even once—when the mixing bowl was not cleaned well enough—a very colorful cake!

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Image copyright Tony Persiani, text copyright Chris Barton. Courtesy of Charlesbridge

Joe used these paints to major effect in one of his acts in which a dancing woman “lost her head” as Joe, unseen by the audience in the darkened theater, took off her headdress as she danced away. This trick brought Bob and Joe lots of customers for their original paints. But there was one problem: these colors only shone under ultraviolet light.

One day in 1935, however, one of Bob’s experiments resulted in a surprising innovation—a dye that glowed even in daylight. Bob didn’t know how exactly it had worked, so the brothers continued experimenting. Finally, they discovered the secret when an orange billboard they had created glowed as if it were on fire even in the daytime! The brothers then created reds, yellows, greens, and other colors that could do the same thing.

During World War II these glowing colors were used on fabric panels used to send signals from the ground to airplanes overhead, in lifeboats, on buoys, and on other safety products. After the war the colors continued to influence culture and are still part of our lives today.

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Image copyright Tony Persiani, text copyright Chris Barton. Courtesy of Charlesbridge

Older kids with a penchant for science and history will love this biography. Chris Barton goes in-depth to reveal the Switzer brothers’ dreams and motivations that resulted in a most astounding discovery. Barton infuses the story with humor and interesting details that will fascinate curious minds.

Using a retro style, Tony Persiani sets this biography in its time while also giving the story a modern feel. Gray scale tones become dotted with florescent color as the brothers’ experiments bear fruit and give way to eye-popping spreads with the ultimate success of Day-Glo paints and dyes.

Ages 7 – 12

Charlesbridge, 2009 | ISBN 978-1570916731

Brother’s Day Activity

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Day-Glow Maze

 

Follow the twisty glowing paths to match the Day-Glo product to the object they color! Print the Day-Glo Maze puzzle here!

Picture Book Review