Miles Is a Mighty Brothersaurus

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Miles Is a Mighty Brothersaurus Book Poster Image
Sensitive sibling tale underscores "be yourself" theme.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Some information about dinosaurs.

Positive Messages

Be yourself. "All that matters is that you do what you love. Not because you win trophies or get medals for it. But because you love it. Do what you love and you will be happy. And that's the best trophy of all." Family members have different interests and strengths but can support one another.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Grandpa talks to Miles constructively about his feelings, helping him identify them and validating them by reflecting them back: "It must really stink to feel like your siblings get so much more attention for the things they do." Miles has an idea for how he can stay home from the game and suggests it directly. His family listens to and accepts his suggestion.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Miles Is a Mighty Brothersaurus is a tie-in book for the DVD Ruby's Studio: The Siblings Show produced by the Mother Company, which creates kids' books, videos, and other parenting resources. The focus of the show is sibling relationships, and the message in this book is "be yourself." Six-year-old Miles, sandwiched between his trophy-winning older brother and a younger brother who snagged a medal in gymnastics, is upset, saying, "Everyone in this family has medals except me." An afternoon with Grandpa convinces him that his interest in dinosaurs brings him happiness and that he should pursue what he loves. The story is probably most helpful to kids already familiar with the characters in the series and who are feeling "less than."

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What's the story?

In MILES IS A MIGHTY BROTHERSAURUS, Miles wants to use Saturday to play with his dinosaurs, but his family's going to his older brother Scotty's baseball game. When Scotty taunts him and tosses him a ball, Miles misses the catch, and the ball knocks down all Scotty's sports trophies. Miles stays behind with Grandpa to clean up the mess and talks to Grandpa about how he doesn't have any medals and his feeling that no one cares what he does. In an attempt to find something he excels at, Miles tries his hand at painting, playing the trombone, and building a doghouse but fails at all. Grandpa suggests that his knowledge about dinosaurs is what gives him pleasure and that he should always do what he loves.

Is it any good?

This book handles the theme "be yourself," a frequent one in kids' books, directly and somewhat obviously. Miles, the middle brother of three, compares himself with his brothers and despairs when his accomplishments fall short. On the plus side, Miles' feelings are recognizable ones often felt by kids, and the adults are depicted as loving and helpful, modeling ways to talk about feelings and offer support. But it reads a bit too much like a story drafted to address an issue.

Some story turns might inadvertently send a discouraging message. Seeking to outdo his brothers, Miles tries painting, playing the trombone, and building a doghouse, and when he immediately fails, he gives up. But for kids, visual art is about process, not product; musical instruments require instruction and practice to master; and few 6-year-olds could build a viable doghouse without a strong guiding hand from an adult. Still, it could help start conversations about siblings and feeling overlooked.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about siblings. Do you sometimes compare yourself with your siblings or others and think they do things better than you?

  • What interests or activities do you like best? What gives you the most happiness?

  • Do you have an adult like Grandpa, someone you can talk to and who helps you figure out your feelings and your strengths?

Book details

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