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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Older siblings have a grave responsibility, but it can also be a lot of fun. Being a big brother to a younger boy can mean doing so many things together and the big brother gets to be the leader, the teacher, the instigator of trouble, and the best one to play with. From teaching the little brother how to crawl, then how to walk, there are plenty of things the two brothers can do that will cause them to laugh and giggle. But the big brother will always be there to help if the younger brother falls, or to come up with a solution so Mommy won’t be mad if they both fall into a muddy puddle: “together we’ll give Mommy a slimy cuddle.”
Lindsey Coker Luckey’s picture book story, What it Means to be a Big Brother, is a wonderful story about sibling love. It weaves together a bond like the one most of us enjoyed in Robert Munch’s Love You Forever. Instead of a charming story about a relationship between mother and son, this equally charming story is about a relationship between an older and younger brother. The story is written in the first person from the older brother’s point of view as he pledges all the things he wants to do for his little brother. It’s written in rhyming verse and accompanied by bright and colorful illustrations that help move the story along.
There are cute lines that will make any parent of boys share a few chuckles: “If we find cool creepy crawly bugs, we’ll bring them home and give them lots of hugs.” And there are also some lines that will cause your eyes to tear up: “Little sibling, I promise to be your best friend, and I promise to play with you to no end.” And here’s the line that ties this loving story to Munch: “I promise to be the best big brother ever, and I promise to love you forever.” I loved this story from beginning to end.