As the new baby dust settles I find I have a tad more time to write my blog.
Having two is like increasing your child quotient exponentially. Really, it’s like having 4 especially at the beginning.
Even in these first few months I have noticed a distinct sibling pattern emerge between my girls. Thankfully Miss Mouse adores “her baby” with a sincere love and affection that warms a mother’s heart even if her love is a bit on the rough side at times. And as Quincey grows in awareness and ability it’s very obvious she has a unique adoration for her sister that no parent could ever hope to get.
As I watch the two laugh and play together, hug and coo, I silently pray with all my heart that they become friends and take care of one another as the grow up.
Perhaps I am just sensitive to sister sibling issues as I’ve always had a tenuous and now estranged relationship with my own but I have been devouring books and knowledge about how to help my two lovelies build a healthy bond which I never had.
My research has concluded that no one set of factors can predict which siblings will remain friends. Birth order, difference in ages or sexes, parenting style or personalities, none of this can accurately determine who will fuse and which will fight like alley cats.
I’ve also learned that while they can’t make their kids like each other parents can certainly guide their children in develop healthy relationship skills that benefit ALL their relationships.
I’ve also been assured that every sibling set will fight and each will want to feel special and unique in their parents’ love.
Sometimes through fate, parenting prowess or personality alignments, they just click like my niece and nephew. Despite their 6 year age gap and occasional squabble, they maintain such a lovely bond it gives me such hope for my own brood.
I thought immediately of them when I read A Few Blocks by Cybèle Young (ISBN: 978088899995, Groundwood Books, 2011) and fell in love with the beautiful sibling story as it gave me a world of hope!
In this modern picture book, older sis Viola helps Ferdie make his way to school by creating imaginative games for them to play on their way. And when Viola’s will fail her, its Ferdinand who helps her make it all the way there!
I love that Viola meets her brother’s reluctance with creativity, making a mundane event magical.
I really love that the illustrations in this book are simple black and white images until the two siblings launch into their imagination and then it becomes a colourful cut-out world of infinite possibilities.
There are many things compelling about this new book, the characters are sweet, the story original and showcases a great brother-sister relationship.
Young’s illustrations are lovely and no wonder this first-time children’s author is an award-winning artist whose exquisite paper sculpture (a technique used in this book for the illustrations) has been shown internationally.
She’s also been nominated for the Governor General’s Award for illustration for Pa’s Harvest by Jan Andrews and has also illustrated Jack Pine by Christopher Patton.
Young lives with her family in Toronto and if you are intrigued by the visual, you can see her and her family next month as they are featured in the coolest new home décor magazine ever Covet Garden.
I can’t wait to see her home studio space that allows her to create her gorgeous art!
A Few Blocks is a magnificent reminder that sometimes the adventure and awe of childhood can only be shared with a brother or sister.