Big Little Brother

September 24, 2012

If you’ve ever heard Kevin Kling on NPR or at storytelling festivals around the country, you know his stories are clever, hilarious, and endearing. His new picture book, Big Little Brother, is no exception. This big brother finds himself in the unique position of being smaller than his little brother, and the book explores the complications — and the advantages — of brotherhood in a sweet and funny story.

The illustrations are pretty great, too, especially when the little brother shows up every time the lights are off!

Growth spurts and genetics are tricky, aren’t they? Has this ever happened in your family, either to you while you were growing up or to your kids? I imagine it would be so difficult and hard to understand!

Please join me in welcoming writer Amy Hackworth to the pages of Design Mom! A more formal introduction will follow (I promise!), but I do know she eats, sleeps, and breathes books! She has even co-written one.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gretchen September 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Just last night my older son stepped on the scale and weighed in at 59 pounds – his younger brother (by 3 years!) weighed in at 61 pounds! Older son yelled “Noooooooooo!” (We’ve been telling him for years this might happen.) We’ll have to get this book!


2 Meggan Hayes September 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Right now we only have one boy (and I’m 20 weeks along with our 2nd boy) and 4 girls. My son has never been high on the growth charts or height predictors though and I think my oldest daughter will most likely be taller than him. Should be interesting!


3 Jill W September 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

daughter # 1 is officially the shortest kid in 5th grade. Her 7 and 8 year old sisters are as tall as she is, with the 4 year old not far behind. The biggest thing that bothers her about her small stature is that no one believes that she is as old as she is and they won’t let her play with them. Also. Pants that fit the waist and hips, but are short enough are really hard to find. I’m getting good at hemming up pants.


4 hillary September 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

My sister and I are 2.5 years apart. She caught up to me when she was 3 and I was 5, and people thought we were twins for a couple of years. Then she passed me up! My mom saved her shoes for me but the last few sizes I never grew into (dangit, I really wanted those silver ballerina flats with the bows on them!). As adults, I am 5’3″ and she is 5’10″, so it all makes sense. The only time I remember being dismayed by it was when I was 13 and she was 10 and the waiter handed ME the kids’ menu and not her. In typical 13-year-old fashion, I was NOT amused.


5 val September 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I experienced this growing up. My sister passed me up in height by the time I was 15 (she was 13). Now my own children are experiencing it too :) My oldest daughter was passed up by her 13-year old sister when she was 15, and my 10 year old son was taller than his 12 year old sister by the time he was 8 and she was 10. Luckily there are no serious feelings of angst about it. Instead, we just laugh about how crazy genetics can be. I think we’d all really enjoy this book. Thanks for sharing :)


6 Mary September 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

When my oldest son was taking unfair advantage of his size with his sibling during his younger days, his grandmother (Nanny) used to warn him that one day they (2 brothers, 1 sister) might pass him by in height. Now in his late 30′s, he refers to it as the ‘Nanny Curse,’ as both brothers grew several inches taller than he and his baby sister is only a couple of inches shorter. The younger ones do love to remind him of his shorter stature when they get together.


7 Azra September 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I will look up this book because it is appropriate for our household. The first photo with the shoes left a big smile on my face.


8 Michelle September 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Love this! We are huge fans of Kevin Kling at our house…he’s a local & is so talented. And….our boys will probably fit this story, too. We have a four year old and a one year. The one year old was a preemie born at 32 weeks and 4 lbs 11 oz (yes, fat for a preemie!) He ballooned to 20 lbs by 6 months, and seriously, his butt is bigger than his four year old brother’s!! Who would have thought? Definitely getting this book :) Michelle in Minneapolis


9 Amy Hackworth September 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Michelle, how fun that Kevin Kling is a local! I read this tonight to our youngest son and thought how fun it would be to hear Kevin read it himself. You can almost hear his inflection in some of the phrases. You’ll love it!


10 Pam McClanahan September 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

Amy, If you have a tablet we have a great app for the book, with Kevin Kling reading and some simple interactives for readers– his sound effects for the interactives are classic Kevin!


11 Mary Poggione September 25, 2012 at 9:39 am

The book is available as an iPad app narrated by Kevin . Also, if you live in the Twin Cities, he and Chris Monroe will be at the Twin Cities Bookfest in a couple of weeks.
Full disclosure–I work for the publisher of this book.
It’s been great to read everyone’s comments!


12 Amy Hackworth September 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Pam and Mary, so glad you saw all these nice comments! Thanks for the tip about the iPad app! I would LOVE to hear Kevin read this!


13 Amy Hackworth September 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Wow! I love hearing that so many of you can relate to this story!


14 Susan September 25, 2012 at 5:40 am

Laughed when I saw this story. Big brother, now 31, just told me on his last visit home how happy he was when his little brother didn’t grow taller than he was. Little brother is built like a tank and big brother is long and lean. BTW big brother is 6’3″ and little bro is only 6’2″.


15 Josephine September 25, 2012 at 6:33 am

My sister is five years younger than me, but passed me in height when she was in 6th grade and I was a junior in high school. She is now five inches taller. I have two girls and the oldest is 5’1″ and finished growing. Her younger sister is 5’4″ and will probably get taller. The oldest wishes she was taller for basketball but loves her muscular legs. The younger is happy to have long, strong legs for horseback riding so really it worked out quite well.


16 tere September 25, 2012 at 7:29 am

Welcome Amy! Great job you scored!! Hope you bring us many beautiful books, we are looking forward to meet you!


17 Amy Hackworth September 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Wow, tere. What a nice comment! Thanks so much!


18 Erin September 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

I have been a fan of Kevin Kling’s for years. We live in Minneapolis and have attended many of his performances – he is truly a gem. I will absolutely be buying this book, although our one year old doesn’t have a sibling yet — but I would probably buy it if I didn’t have any children at all. And Mary, thank you for the tip about the Twin Cities Bookfest, we’ll have to check that out!


19 Gina @ Oaxacaborn September 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

Congratulations, Amy! I’m so excited for you, and look forward to reading your book posts! :)


20 Amy Hackworth September 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Thanks, Gina! That’s so sweet!


21 Lisa J. September 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Great post, I can’t wait to hear more from you, Amy!
p.s. I love the photo of the shoes with the book!


22 Design Mom September 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

I can’t wait to read this one, Amy! Great pick.


23 beth September 17, 2016 at 11:18 pm

I have always been tiny at 4’6″ and my big little sister who is 5 years younger than me gave me all kinds of grief growing up because she towered over me at a whopping 4’11″ by the time she was in 5th grade. She always wears heels and rubs it into me for being so short. Not fair because she is beautiful and looks like Rachel McAdams too so she got all the looks as well. My revenge has been with my children growing very tall because their dad is 6’5″. Both my kids grew tall and fast and hadn’t seen their aunt in a few years because she lived in Europe for work. She left when they were 11 and 10. When she got back she was expecting the same little niece and nephew she left. My son is now 14 and 6’4″ and my 13 year old daughter is 6’0″. It was so great to see the shock on her face when she saw them the first time. They towered over her in her tall heels. They both picked her up to hug her and her feet were dangling in the air. My son picked her up so fast her heels fell off and then she was even shorter compared to them. They kept standing next to her making her feel short. I loved it.


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