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Yay for Big Brothers!

NEW Nov 2, 2021

By Janet Halfmann

Illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Arbordale Publishing

Ages 3-8, Nonfiction Picture Book, softcover (English and Spanish versions), e-book, audio book

Buy at Bookshop,, Barnes & Noble, Target, Arbordale, and other booksellers


FREE puppets and clothes craft activity to go with the book, created by Illustrator Shennen Bersani. Find it here.


Children's Book Council (CBC) Love Makes the World Go Round Summer 2022 list


The Story

Big Brothers are amazing! Did you know that big brothers are important in animal families, too? Animal big brothers do many of the same things as kid big brothers. They play with their younger siblings, teach them new things, and help with their care. Sometimes animal big brothers even babysit when their parents leave to hunt for food. Are you a big brother or do you have a big brother?

My Inspiration

I was inspired to write this book when our grandson became a big brother. Becoming a big brother is not always easy, and I thought all big brothers needed a book to celebrate them. Now the brother who was the little brother when I got this inspiration is about to become a big brother himself! Yay for Big Brothers everywhere!

Educational Connections

FREE extensive Teacher's Guide, alignment to state and national standards, rreading and math quizzes, author and illustrator interviews, and many other resources at Arbordale Publishing.

"For Creative Minds" activity section at back of book.

Educational Activities to go with Yay for Big Brothers!: Growing with Science Blog


Video Interview from Arbordale Kids: Meet the Creators. Follow the book from idea to finished book, and a fun free puppet activity to make.


"An animal book focusing on big brothers offers reflective questions for older siblings to ponder . . . The predictable rhythm and simple visuals are soothing and allow for focus on the discussion questions posed in each spread. Racial diversity is present in an ensemble spread of human sibling pairs." —Kirkus Reviews

"If you've ever pondered what kind of gift to take to a baby shower, or a birth gift, this should spring to mind in the future for any families in which the newcomer will have an older brother. Easing that sibling into the spotlight, providing a gift directed at them specifically, and valuing their adjustments and altered reponsibilities are gifts in themselves." —Unpacking the POWER of picture books

"This colorfully illustrated guide to sibling's human and animal is a great read for beginners or any child who loves animals. Parents and teachers can use this as a tool to get kids engaged and sharing what they do with their siblings." —Kristi's Book Nook

"In Yay for Big Brothers we see several different types of animals where the big kids stick around and help with the younger ones . . . Every spread also has a question that takes what the animal does and helps a big brother think about it and relate it to their experience. The questions are a fantastic way to prepare for a new baby or the many adjustments that come from having a little sibling . . . The art is realistic and soft, it's reminiscent of classic picture books." —Katie Fischer Writes

"Yay for Big Brothers! would be an ideal way to introduce a big brother and his younger sibling. It would make a fabulous birthday or baby shower present, It would also be appropriate for a youngster who loves animals and wants to learn more about them." —Growing with Science Blog



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