Barnabas and Boo

A Tale of Mismatched Brothers

Taming of the Boo (4)

Barnabas looks like a mean dog who barks at anyone coming near his yard, but behind his bark he is a big softie. When his family adopts a new pet kitten, Barnabas has to overcome fear and jealousy and learn empathy and acceptance of his new sibling.

Anyone who has had to make room in their lives for a newcomer such as a new sibling will relate to the main character Barnabas and his feelings of jealousy and anger as his family showers attention on the new kitten. There are sight gags and squirrels, miscarriages of justice, and an emotionally-charged climax that elicited tears in an audience test.

Aimed at children ages 3-6, this picture book draws the reader in with its playful illustrations while sharing an important message about how a shift in perspective is all that is needed to turn a rival into a friend.


  • Adjusting to a new sibling
  • Overcoming fear to help a friend
  • Learning to loosen up

Many children will certainly relate to getting a “new brother”, especially the only children.  All children can relate to having to share their parents with another.  They will also relate to being frightened by storms. Children that have dogs will definitely relate, too.

– Ann G.

Overall the theme is sweet and the plot moves a long at a good pace for young listeners or readers. 

– Dina J.

It is lovely! Could apply to friends or siblings, many things to learn about being helpful, overcoming fear.

– Shuchi M.
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