Me and My Sister caught our attention not only because of its sensitive approach to autism but also because it captures much of the experience of any two siblings who have lots of differences. Rose Robbins, who both wrote and illustrated the book, has a Master of Arts in children's book illustration from Cambridge and writes from her own experience growing up with an autistic brother.
Intended for three to seven year olds, Robbins' story is about a brother and his autistic sister. It starts with an emotion familiar to anyone who has ever been annoyed by a sibling: "Uh-oh, here comes my sister ..." But the narrator's hesitance dissolves into a smile as his sister tugs him by the arm to begin their day. The pair do not like the same foods or go to the same school, but they finish breakfast with a shared burp (likely to delight young readers), dance to music together, and do high-fives as a substitute for hugs that the sister doesn't like.
These moments of connection are complicated by differences that are harder for the brother to accept: How can his sister get away with being rude to Nanna? Why does he get told off for things that aren't his fault when his sister doesn't? Any child who has experienced uneven treatment – whether warranted or not – will know this stinging sensation and find comfort in the book's understanding.
Robbins serves as an ambassador with Inclusive Minds, a collective for people who are committed to increasing diversity, equality, and accessibility in children's books. She makes great strides toward that goal with this book, which she hopes "might resonate with children who have a disabled sibling, and ... inspire an empathy and understanding in those who don’t share that experience."