siblings fighting

14 Fantastic Children's Books About Sibling Rivalry

maple and willow together
Maple & Willow Together

Maple had enjoyed her status as an only child until her baby sister arrived. The little baby disrupted her life in all the right ways. The siblings spend all of their time outdoors, basking in the sun, smelling the flowers, and playing in the grass. Sometimes Maple is too controlling and Willow can be quite annoying. When this happens, the sisters take a break (which doesn't last long) and come together again with renewed energy. Sparse text complements the whimsical illustrations that capture the bond, for better or worse, between siblings. 

Kids' Books About Sibling Rivalry

Fighting amongst siblings is a very natural and normal part of households with multiple children. In fact, some may argue that it is healthy for brothers and sisters to squabble within the safety of their homes. They can get away with saying and doing things that would simply not be acceptable anywhere else. Kids learn how to argue, defend, and resolve conflict in a sort of test environment. As frustrating as this can be for parents, remember that the fighting will pass and the kids will return to a state of getting along. But if the arguing has become a bit too much and nothing you do is working, perhaps it's time to gather some children's stories about sibling rivalry. Reading books will open up a conversation about the causes, like overwhelming feelings of jealousy, and provide opportunities to teach them how to minimize the constant conflict.

liam takes a stand
Liam Takes a Stand

Younger siblings often struggle to get the attention of their elder brothers and sisters. It's especially tough for Liam, who happens to be the younger oft-forgotten brother of twins. Lister and Lester are always so caught up in their competitive ways that they pay no attention to little Liam. When the twins get carried away with a lemonade stand battle of epic proportions, Liam quietly devises his own business plan. And when his lemonade sales far outperform that of his brothers, Liam finally gets the time and attention he deserves.


when miles got mad

When Miles Got Mad

When his younger brother breaks his most prized possession, Miles is ready to explode with anger. It seems like his brother ruins everything. The problem is made worse when Miles overreacts and loses his temper. When he catches an image of himself in the mirror, he sees something that resembles more of a fiery monster than himself. In this valuable book about emotional control, little readers will learn that keeping their anger in check is important no matter what their siblings do to provoke them.



my rotten redheaded older brother
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

Patricia Polacco, prolific storyteller who expertly draws from her own childhood, gives readers a humorous and truthful account of her experience as a frustrated younger sister. In this story, the redheaded big brother constantly taunts his sister and brags about his ability to climb higher, run faster, spit further, and pretty much beat her at any competition. When little Patricia has reached the end of her rope, she makes a wish upon a star to beat her brother at something. In a heartwarming turn of events, she learns that maybe her older sibling isn't so bad after all. 

bye bye baby brother
Bye-Bye Baby Brother!

 Ruby was excited about the arrival of her baby brother, Oliver. But she did not expect all of the changes to her routine, most especially the loss of her mother's attention. Instead of playing with her, Mom is busy feeding, changing, bathing, and doing all sorts of things for the baby. Ruby patiently reads her books and keeps herself occupied, but finally she has had enough. Perhaps a rocket ship to send the baby off to outer space is just what she needs! A funny and endearing story from the perspective of a temporarily neglected older sister.



i do not like living with brothers
I Do Not Like Living with Brothers

Little girls dealing with smelly, messy, noisy brothers will appreciate the humor throughout this book. Lots of funny, if somewhat stinky, scenarios that cause the sister great disdain will seem familiar to readers dealing with similar circumstances. The author then encourages readers to think about all of the good things about their brothers, like how they can be both kind and helpful. This helpful book acknowledges the frustrations that arise between siblings and then shifts the focus onto how much good these brothers bring to the family.


i'll fix anthony

I'll Fix Anthony

Anthony is the kind of big brother you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. He's a mean-spirited  bully who finds every opportunity to knock down his little brother. Despite the reassuring words from his mother that Anthony really loves him, the little boy doubts this is true. He daydreams about the day he is older (ha!), bigger, and stronger than Anthony so he can finally get revenge. Keep in mind this is an old-school story of sibling rivalry with retro-style illustrations that capture the mood and emotional state of siblings in constant battle.



the berenstain bears get in a fight
The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight

Something is amiss in Bear Country. Brother and Sister Bear normally get along. On this particular day, however, they have been fighting from the time they got out of bed. Mama Bear tries to ignore their conflict, hoping they can work through it themselves. But after hours of arguing and name-calling, Mama decides it is time to finally intervene. She sits down with the cubs and helps them work out their difficulties. In the end, they learn that even siblings who love each other will fight from time to time.




Iggy and Otto are little toddlers with big imaginations. When the cookie jar breaks, each brother points his finger at the other. An epic rivalry, like a war of sorts, is ignited. Each boy transforms into a brobarian out to defend his territory off fight off enemies. The cartoon, collage-like pictures add a spot of humor to this story of siblings who fight incessantly. This fun story is best read aloud, as the sound effects complement the action that plays across they boys' backyard.


pigs and a blanket

Henry and Henrietta, sweet brother and sister piglets, love to play together. They almost always get along, and their love for one another is never in question. But, like all siblings, they get into squabbles periodically. One time they get into a tug-of-war with their beloved green blanket, the one that has provided hours of entertainment and comfort for the piggies. After a bit too much yanking, the fuzzy blankie is ripped into two pieces. The siblings quickly realize that their favorite blanket is no longer so special. And, even more importantly, they are much happier together than apart. 



jinx and the doom fight crime
Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime!

A brother sister duo have a mission in life- to fight evil. Instead of using their energy battling each other, like they did in the past, the imaginative siblings make it their mission to save the world. Morning, noon, and night, they overcome enemies and protect others from dangerous predators. Jinx and the Doom is an action-packed picture book about siblings who turn the mundane into the extraordinary and have a lot of fun together every single day.


sometimes i'm bombaloo


Katie is a well-behaved, even-tempered, happy-go-lucky little girl most of the time. There is one person who can get under her skin and change her mood in an instant. Her little brother knows how to push all her buttons, like messing up her carefully crafted castle after she told him to keep his hands off. When this happens, Katie develops a new, angry persona, nicknamed Bombaloo. Fortunately, her loving mother teaches her tactics for settling down and compartmentalizing her anger. Mixed-media illustrations effectively incorporate colors, like red, black and yellow, that reflect Katie's mood.



alphonse that's no ok to do
Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do!

A tale of two monster siblings who love each other most of the time will resonate with lots of kids. Natalie is a very patient big sister who likes doing things with Alphonse. He's a great mate when it comes time to playing on their bunkbeds and making arts and crafts. But, like every sibling relationship, there are some bad days thrown in the mix. Natalie is served a food she despises and her artwork isn't turning out right. The final straw is when she discovers Alphonse nibbling on her favorite book. She loses her monstrous temper and retreats to the bath. And when she finally reappears, she discovers that Alphonse has made amends in the most thoughtful way he can. 



that's mine
That's Mine!

An older brother becomes increasingly frustrated with his little sister. She commands all of their mother's time and needs help with everything. Feeling confused and neglected, the little boy takes his anger out on his sister. He goes through a period where he refuses to share or even show kindness toward her. His mother finally talks to him about his new role as a big brother and all the ways he is still so very important to her.


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Children's Books About Siblings Fighting Can Help

When siblings fight incessantly, it drains the entire family. Periodic squabbles are par for the course, but constant rivalry between brothers and sisters is not tolerable. Parental intervention may work effectively to diffuse an argument. But there is always another fight right around the corner. It can feel like a losing game of whack-a-mole unless proactive measures are taken.

A great tactic is to read children's books about sibling rivalry during quiet, peaceful times at home. When kids are in a calm, unemotional state of mind, they will be better equipped to listen with and open mind and relate the lessons to their own relationships. Parents can use these stories to open a conversation about how their children can more effectively resolve conflict, mitigate angry feelings, and reduce the frequency of fighting.


Find More Stories to Help With Behavior

Books for Kids About Feeling Left Out

Picture Books About Listening Skills

Stories for Siblings About a New Baby


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