Rose Robbins, Me and My Sister, Allen & Unwin, April 2019, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760524456
What do you do when your sister doesn’t use words, goes to a different school and sometimes refuses your hugs? Me and My Sister explores the experience of a child with an autistic sibling, showing both the difficulties and the joys.
Robbins has written a thoughtful book about difference and acceptance. The narrator loves his sister, recognises not only her needs but her strengths, the ways in which he can support her and how she supports him. The narrator experiences frustration and confusion at some of her behaviour – which isn’t all explained, importantly because not everything can be explained. The illustrations in Me and My Sister support the narrative with the big expressive faces of the characters.
This book would be a great catalyst for discussion of difference and of sibling relationships. There would be many children out there who would be able to see themselves in this story, and be able to relate to both the narrator and his sister.
Reviewed by Madeleine Crofts