Review: The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey

The Brothers Quibble by Aaron BlabeyThe Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey
Penguin Books Aus RRP: AUD $24.99

–          Award winning Australian author and illustrator

–          Humorous look at sibling rivalry

–          Very quirky illustration style

For more information visit Penguin Books Australia


It’s been awhile since I’ve come across a character name as cool as Spalding Quibble.  This alone will ensure young readers sit up and take notice of this quirky picture book that looks at what happens in a family after the arrival of a dreaded little brother!  Spalding Quibble rules the roost, you see. He has his parents’ undivided attention until baby Bunny spoils everything and all hell breaks loose. Spalding wages war against his family – he hits them, he hoses them, he sprays them with paint – yelling ‘Curse you, Devil!’ as he goes.  Spalding is an extreme representation of a tantruming toddler and the cartoon-like illustrations border on frightening as his wild eyed rage is played out.  He dons a handmade paper crown to emphasise his authority as he bangs and slams his way through the house. On my first read through I wondered if this was all a little too much for young readers, but then my children reminded me that that tortuous level of fear, confusion and frustration is exactly what it feels like to be a toddler – especially when your world changes overnight.

Luckily for Bunny, his persistent adoration of his big brother eventually pays off and Stirling begins to tolerate, and sometimes even like, having him around.  Unlike a lot of similar books, which end with cuddles and smiles, this one ends on a realistic note with the brothers up to cheeky mischief one minute and tearing each other’s hair out the next.  The final illustration shows Spalding handing the paper crown to young Bunny as they walk towards their future. So far, so sweetly symbolic – but their body language also suggests a headlock might be only minutes away!  Sounds like a few siblings I know!


13 comments for “Review: The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey

  1. Lydia c lee
    February 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Isn’t funny how kids see things on a totally different level to how we think they will….

    • This Charming Mum
      February 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm


  2. February 10, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I always love reading book reviews for picture story books! We go through so many books at school that I’m always on the lookout for a new one we haven’t read! Thanks again 🙂

    • This Charming Mum
      February 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      We practically have a school library’s worth at home these days – I can’t get enough of them really. It’s great there are still so many beautifully illustrated, quirky picture books coming out.

  3. February 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    This sounds like a great little book :o)

    • This Charming Mum
      February 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks Robo. Yes, it’s a good one.

  4. February 6, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    ohh that book certainly sounds different. I love the illustrations on the front cover too, it’s always nice to find books that aren’t the norm.

    Thanks for linking up with us at The Lounge

    • This Charming Mum
      February 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      My pleasure. I enjoy quirky kids books that aren’t all Disney and happy ever after. This is a fun one.

  5. February 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Sounds fantastic! I am so gonna have to get this for Punky and Zee, I reckon Punky would love it!

    • This Charming Mum
      February 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Yep, it’s a really good one. Very different from the usual on this topic.

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