The Best Worst Brother

Overview

In this sequel to the popular storybook WE'LL PAINT THE OCTOPUS RED, 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 ...
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Overview

In this sequel to the popular storybook WE'LL PAINT THE OCTOPUS RED, 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!

THE BEST WORST BROTHER 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.

Kids and families who loved Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen's earlier book with the same characters will want this one too. 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. Charlotte Fremaux's realistic illustrations are deft and colorful, appealing to a slightly older audience than the previous book's. Text and illustrations mesh beautifully, making THE BEST WORST BROTHER a delightful tale to read at home or share at school.

Older sister Emma tries to be patient while teaching three-year-old Isaac, who has Down syndrome, how to communicate using sign language. Includes questions and answers about sign language.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Emma, the big sister, loved to feed, cuddle, and play with her new baby brother, Isaac. But now Isaac is almost three and he has a mind of his own as to what he wants to do. He will not do what Emma expects and is often contrary. Emma complains to her Mom she is trying to teach Isaac to talk but he will not even try. Emma's Mom suggests that she try to teach Isaac some sign language words. Isaac does not sign back to Emma and shows little enthusiasm for her efforts. When Emma's family attends Emma's school open house, Isaac surprises everyone by signing a few words to Emma's teacher. The ending is a fun twist where we find out why Isaac is the best worst brother. The Question and Answer section about sign language at the back of the book would be helpful to parents. This story will also be helpful to first-time big brothers and sisters. 2005, Woodbine House Publishers, Ages 3 to 7.
—Charlotte M. Krall
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-This sequel to We'll Paint the Octopus Red (Woodbine, 1998) follows the relationship between three-year-old Isaac, who has Down's syndrome, and his older sister, Emma, who is frustrated by his slow language and motor development. Because he does not yet have the skills required for speech, the family attempts to teach him sign language, which is a transitional system of communication for children with Down's syndrome. Emma works hard to make her brother understand, but he doesn't seem to make much progress. However, by the end of the book, he demonstrates that he is capable of learning, albeit at a slower pace than she expects. Emma, in turn, shows more understanding of his developmental disability and takes great pleasure in his successes. The illustrations are softly colorful, but Emma and Isaac have identical facial features and expressions. Children who have not read the earlier title may not know this is a story about this condition until the question-and-answer section at the end. The text is simple but the message could be shared with a fairly wide audience.-Robyn Walker, Elgin Court Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890627683
  • Publisher: Woodbine House
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 26
  • Sales rank: 524,403
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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