The best books about jealousy

Many authors have picked their favorite books about jealousy and why they recommend each book.

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The New Small Person

By Lauren Child,

Book cover of The New Small Person

Elmore Green is perfectly happy being an only child and likes his life just the way it is, so when the ‘new small person’ arrives and throws everything out of line, Elmore Green wishes they would go back to wherever they came from. One night when Elmore has a nightmare though, everything changes, and he begins to find that there are upsides to having a sibling after all. With heart and humor, The New Small Person embraces the complex emotions surrounding becoming an older sibling and shows that while sometimes a sibling bond takes a little time to form, it can be pretty spectacular.


Who am I?

I am a picture book author living in Los Angeles with my husband and two small children. Through my work, I hope to make children laugh, to inspire curiosity, and to create a magical world readers can lose themselves in time and time again.


I wrote...

How to Return a Monster

By Charlotte Offsay, Rea Zhai (illustrator),

Book cover of How to Return a Monster

What is my book about?

In this hilarious and heartfelt book about sibling relationships, a girl can't believe it when her parents bring home a fussy, stinky, attention-stealing monster. She hatches a plan to send it back to where it came from, with hilarious results . . . and along the way, she learns that maybe monsters--and baby siblings--aren't so bad after all.

My Sibling

By Isabelle Filliozat, Éric Veillé (illustrator),

Book cover of My Sibling

My Sibling is an activity book with drawing prompts, stickers, crafts, and activities just right for 6-10-year-olds. Touching on jealousy, fairness, sharing, and more, the book gently guides children to try new ways of thinking and behaving towards their siblings. An extensive section for parents and caregivers more fully explains what parents can do to help their children get along.

Who am I?

I am a Child Psychologist and Author turned Parent Coach who often hears about the bickering, put-downs, jealousy, and conflict sapping families with multiple children. Telling them to “cut it out” clearly does nothing. Kids need not only the skills (how to talk, how to listen, how to manage feelings and resolve conflict) but also the motivation to use them, a combination I have spent my career thinking about, writing about, and teaching. All of the books I have written, and all that I recommend, include this winning combination of skills and motivation with the aim of helping children live happier lives.


I wrote...

The Sibling Survival Guide: Surefire Ways to Solve Conflicts, Reduce Rivalry, and Have More Fun with Your Brothers and Sisters

By Dawn Huebner, Kara McHale (illustrator),

Book cover of The Sibling Survival Guide: Surefire Ways to Solve Conflicts, Reduce Rivalry, and Have More Fun with Your Brothers and Sisters

What is my book about?

Having a brother or sister can be tough. It can also be great, but it’s hard to see the great parts with so many bad parts getting in the way. Things like fighting and bossing. Teasing and jealousy. Tattling. Pestering. You get the idea. The Sibling Survival Guide speaks directly to children ages 9-12, teaching the skills needed to manage feelings, resolve conflicts, and strengthen bonds. Warm, witty, and packed with practical strategies, this interactive book educates, motivates, and empowers siblings to live in peace.

His Royal Highness, King Baby

By Sally Lloyd-Jones, David Roberts (illustrator),

Book cover of His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story

When King Baby arrives, a young princess is forced to share her kingdom. The princess protests her new brother and his attention-demanding ways. She plots to break the spell King Baby holds over the rest of the kingdom until she discovers that perhaps there are benefits to co-ruling after all. Filled with humor, this voice-y princess is sure to be a hit with young rulers everywhere.


Who am I?

I am a picture book author living in Los Angeles with my husband and two small children. Through my work, I hope to make children laugh, to inspire curiosity, and to create a magical world readers can lose themselves in time and time again.


I wrote...

How to Return a Monster

By Charlotte Offsay, Rea Zhai (illustrator),

Book cover of How to Return a Monster

What is my book about?

In this hilarious and heartfelt book about sibling relationships, a girl can't believe it when her parents bring home a fussy, stinky, attention-stealing monster. She hatches a plan to send it back to where it came from, with hilarious results . . . and along the way, she learns that maybe monsters--and baby siblings--aren't so bad after all.

Stepdog

By Mireya Navarro,

Book cover of Stepdog: A Memoir

Eddie, the four-legged title character, seems determined to destroy his owner's relationship with a new love. But every dog, even the naughtiest, worst-behaved has the magical canine ability to mend broken hearts. This memoir is a kind of romantic comedy between an unwanted “intruder” and Eddie the Protector, who learns to trust and make nice.


Who am I?

Michael Konik is the author of 13 books of fiction, poetry, and journalism, including Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventure, an LA Times best-seller and the inspiration for the Animal Planet series Ella & Me. Surrounded by dogs since toddler age, Konik is currently the owner of Benji, a Golden Doodle, and Billie, a magnificent mutt.


I wrote...

Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures

By Michael Konik,

Book cover of Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures

What is my book about?

Part travelogue, part valentine to a beloved pet, Ella in Europe chronicles writer Michael Konik's magical six-week journey through Europe with his dog, Ella. An homage to the friend who has "licked away my tears when I'm sad, hopped on her hind legs when I'm happy, and snuggled me when I'm lonely," here is the story of a bond unlike any other-and an extraordinary dog who stole her way into one man's heart.

Museum of the Missing

By Simon Houpt,

Book cover of Museum of the Missing

This book looks at thieves, liars, manipulators and of course the art itself. There’s a section on damaged goods, which taps into one of my obsessions about the difference in time and effort creation versus destruction takes. 

It’s full of pictures, ironic given that most of the pieces depicted are lost, never to be found. The Gallery of Missing Art is beautifully reproduced, and includes such masterpieces as Strindberg’s “Night of Jealousy”, so we can look at the works and marvel. But knowing that these pieces are…somewhere? Hidden away for a small audience, or perhaps destroyed? That’s heart-breaking.  


Who am I?

Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She was recently given the Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award and was Guest of Honour at World Fantasy 2018, Stokercon 2019 and Geysercon 2019.  She has also been Guest of Honour at Conflux in Canberra and Genrecon in Brisbane.

She has published five multi-award winning novels (Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, The Grief Hole and Tide of Stone) and seven short story collections, including the multi-award winning Through Splintered Walls. Her most recent short story collection is A Primer to Kaaron Warren from Dark Moon Books. Her most recent novella, Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Press), was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the Bram Stoker Award, winning the Aurealis Award. Her stories have appeared in both Ellen Datlow’s and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best anthologies.


I wrote...

The Grief Hole

By Kaaron Warren,

Book cover of The Grief Hole

What is my book about?

When I was writing The Grief Hole, a novel about a woman who knows how you’re going to die by the ghosts who haunt you, and her battle with Sol Evictus, a charismatic singer and art collector, I visited the New Jersey State Museum with family. There were a number of artworks on show there that resonated within the novel, and with the choices Sol Evictus makes. He only collects paintings and sculptures with dark inspiration, such as The Sempstress, by Richard Redgrave, Bruegel’s Massacre of the Innocents, and the photographs of Dina Gottleibson.

There I saw Adolph Konrad’s “Summer Afternoon’, where a large, white house dominated the painting. It seemed to loom over the people sitting, stone-faced, at a table in the overgrown garden in the foreground. Around them, behind them, between them, were ghosts; pale, transparent figures. Being Sol Evictus, most of his pieces are stolen, and I loved researching art theft as I wrote.

Yertle the Turtle

By Dr. Seuss,

Book cover of Yertle the Turtle

Dr. Seuss is the master of the parable. Yertle the Turtle is a classic example of an illustrated picture book with a point about the pitfalls of unbridled ambition, and while I chose this book to highlight, The Lorax is another great example of a story with an equally consequential moral.


Who am I?

The role of the parable is an important one to help understand the roots of right and wrong. We live in such a fractured and untrusting world, that I think it’s important to rediscover the simple truths of honesty and integrity over-ambition, and the pursuit of power for its own sake. And so, I have an interest in the topic because I am a citizen hoping for a better world, and an expertise in the subject because I’m a father raising two children in that same fractious environment.


I wrote...

The Lying King

By Alex Beard,

Book cover of The Lying King

What is my book about?

The Lying King is a fable about an ambitious warthog, who lies his way to the top of the animal kingdom only to fall from grace caught in the web of his own lies. The book is a modern parable about what happens to those who tell lies to advance their own nefarious purposes, and while not overtly political, it does take a clear stand against those who deceive and divide.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

By Meg Medina,

Book cover of Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Attending a private school on scholarship among wealthy classmates, Merci Suárez never feels like she belongs. Her family has always been close, with three generations living in houses nestled next to one another, but lately, things aren’t easy at home, either. Merci’s grandfather is acting in ways she doesn’t understand, and she knows the others are hiding something from her.

I love Merci’s spirited, spunky personality and loving family. She navigates conflicts with courage, pluck, and honesty. The way she faces challenges gives me the confidence to take mine on.


Who am I?

As a shy, dreamy kid, I relied on middle-grade books to learn about the world and feel less alone. That’s why I eventually started writing them. Growing up can be hard. Being grown-up can, too. Fiction can thrill, educate, and stimulate, and I love it for those reasons. But sometimes, I want a book to assure me things are going to be okay. In case you’d forgotten that the world can be scary and unpredictable, the last couple of years probably reminded you. I continue to find comfort in middle-grade books that make my heart feel full, tender, and hopeful. I needed books like these back then, and still need them today.


I wrote...

Eden's Wish (Eden of the Lamp, Book 1)

By M. Tara Crowl,

Book cover of Eden's Wish (Eden of the Lamp, Book 1)

What is my book about?

All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent inside an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home, but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom. When she finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, Eden takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won't be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden quickly learns that this world isn’t perfect. Soon, she also finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. To protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide where she truly belongs.

Sun and Moon Sisters

By Khoa Le,

Book cover of Sun and Moon Sisters

This is a lovely book about two celestial sisters, one is the sun and the other the moon. As siblings do, they argue about who is more important. They decide to swap roles and the sun begins to shine day and night so nobody can sleep and the earth and growing things suffer. Then the moon takes over and at first everybody is relieved. But gradually the lack of warmth and light makes the world an unhappy place. The sisters realize the importance of harmony in the world and in their relationship. The pictures softly reflect the hues of sun and moon. This would make a lovely bedtime story and the end picture shows the girls' love for each other.


Who am I?

I'm a British writer of children’s books and poetry. The books I've chosen are picture books with vibrant illustrations, instantly pulling the reader into the story. The fascination children have with the sky, the planets, and stars, I discovered with my own children, and now my grandchildren, who gaze, star-struck, at the moon through the windows and doorways. As an ex-teacher I've found that books with a story will appeal to children who are discovering cultures other than their own. There are many picture books with sun and moon stories like the one in Chandra’s Magic Light, and I've chosen those I find particularly appealing, as a mother, grandmother, and teacher.


I wrote...

Chandra's Magic Light: A Story in Nepal

By Theresa Heine, Judith Gueyfier (illustrator),

Book cover of Chandra's Magic Light: A Story in Nepal

What is my book about?

Chandra knows the magic of a solar lamp, a tuki, will light her family’s home high in the Himalayas and help her brother breathe easily at night. But how can she earn enough money to buy one?

The story is about solar energy, but it is also about a family who cares for each other. Life in a Himalayan village is evoked with luminous illustrations. In lush colors of a dream-like quality, Deena tells Chandra the story of Chandra the Hindu Moon God, and Surya the Sun God. There are back notes on life in Nepal making the book a useful addition to the school library as well as being an engaging story.

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