The Other Brother – Picture book review
What do you do when your comfy world that you love is bumped off balance by a new arrival?
The Other Brother by Penny Jaye and illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith is a story that follows Jayden James. His comfy and familiar world is thrown out of rhythm by the arrival of an adopted / foster brother.
Jayden James’ sisters are excited about having Mitchell David, a cute, new little brother. But Jayden James is struggling. The change has uprooted his favourite traditions and he notices that his expanded family no longer fits neatly on the picnic rug, in the car or train where he used to love announcing the stations. But now that the family can’t fit together on the train seat, he can’t announce the stations to everyone.
Jayden James finds it difficult to come to terms with the change and needs some alone time to process his emotions. It is during this time when he hears the sound of Mitchell David crying. This flicks on a switch inside Mitchell David and he shifts his focus away from himself and onto the feelings of the unsettled newcomer, Mitchell David. With a beautiful gesture that will tug at your heart strings, he embraces Mitchell David onto the family.
The thing I love about this story is the way it makes you think about how each family member feels and the adjustments they each have to make. This is the perfect story not only for families who might be foster carers or adoptive parents or perhaps considering it, but also for parents who want to begin discussion with their kids about what adoption and foster care is and to empathise with people who might be struggling to fit in.
The Other Brother shines a positive message through Jayden James grand gesture despite his own difficulties coping with the change. Heidi Cooper Smith has done an amazing job capturing the emotions of each character.
The Other Brother is published by Wombat Books. Keep your eye out for it on the local or virtual shelves of your favourite book shop.
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Heidi Cooper Smith
Hope you enjoyed the review!