Article Title

The Audience of Siblings


Literature has the unique ability to create an environment where one can address specific issues and hard questions in a comfortable way and at a relevant level. Children’s literature specifically plays a valuable role at a crucial time in the development of children and through this is privy to being used to explore the issues that most children deal with. In reference to the importance of children’s literature acting as a mirror for children, Sims Bishop stated that “literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience” (Bishop qt. Kiefer, 2014, p.16). For many children though, there is a significant deficit in the number and quality of books that they can see themselves and their situation in. This is especially true about the siblings of children with special needs. In a unique and often complicated situation, the siblings of children with special needs may look to children’s literature and find that most characters do not experience what they do, reinforcing emotions of isolation and hostility. An even greater tragedy though, is the discovery of a book that they may be able to relate to, only to face disappointment by the presentation of children with special needs or their siblings. This literature review will analyze a sampling of fifteen children’s books in order to determine how they approach the audience of siblings of children with special needs, with special emphasis on picture books because of their transcendency and the importance of early emphasis on understanding for the sibling.