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My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  1,996 ratings  ·  115 reviews
There's nothing worse than a rotten redheaded older brother who can do everything you can do better! Patricia's brother Richard could run the fastest, climb the highest, and spit the farthest and still smile his extra-rotten, greeny-toothed, weasel-eyed grin. But when little Patricia wishes on a shooting star that she could do something -- anything -- to show him up, she f ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (first published September 1st 1994)
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Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia PolaccoPink and Say by Patricia PolaccoThunder Cake by Patricia PolaccoThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia PolaccoMr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco
Best of Patricia Polacco
12th out of 55 books — 44 voters
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picture books for those with dementia
45th out of 53 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

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Redheaded Brother

This is like my tenth book I have read by Patricia Polacco and it is called “My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother.” In this book, a young Patricia tells the audience about her annoying older brother, Richard, who outdoes everything she does and she wished to do something better than her brother! “My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother” is a brilliant book that children who also have problems with their siblings will enjoy for many years!

This book was so brilliant and will easily relate to any child who
Lisa Vegan
Jan 05, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any child with a sibling, especially an older sibling, especially an older brother
This seems to be one of Polacco’s true stories, or one based on truth. On the inside front and back covers, there are many photos of the author with her brother at all different ages, and she dedicates the book to him.

This is a rather ordinary story of a younger sister wishing to best her older brother at something, anything. It does show the warm, close family relationships so common in Polacco’s picture books. I loved all the illustrations, especially the very last one, and the ones that show
Drawing once again upon her own life experiences, the author/illustrator describes in humorous fashion the conflict between Tricia and her older brother Richie who seems able to do everything better than she can. When she wishes upon a star to be able to do something better than he does, he ends up coming to her rescue, which somehow changes their relationship. It seems that Richie is not as rotten as Tricia thought he was. As is always the case for this author, she fills her story with family l ...more
Polacco's stories come from the heart and are told so descriptively that it feels like you are a member of her family along for the ride. In this story, Patricia recalls her younger years and the rivalry between herself and her rotten redheaded older brother, Rich. It seems he can do just about everything better and longer than her and he takes over opportunity to rub it her in face. Patricia learns how to make a wish from her wise babushka and she wishes that she will be better at ANYTHING then ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a good story (I am tempted to label it non-fiction) about the relationship between an older brother and a younger sister. It is very appropriate to read this with squabbling siblings, but it's also good for parents to read this and understand the love and loyalty that attaches siblings, despite their bickering at home. As an only child, I am often confounded by our girls' behaviors toward one another - sometimes best friends, sometimes bitter enemies. This book offers some good insights ...more
I love reading true stories to my nieces. I get to stop and say that yes, yes, yes - THIS story REALLY happened! And boy, is it fun!

So this is based upon something that actually happened to the author. Now, I will say before I continue with this review that Polacco is... verbose. She doesn't write picture books for the potty training crowd (unless they have a VERY good attention span), but for kids who can sit down through a whole book and be read to, the older end of the 4 - 8 age range. Keep t
Linda Lipko
Increasingly, I am rather fond of this author and her writing. Most of her stories are autobiographical. Her artistry is unique. While not beautifully imaged as some other children's illustrated artists, her talents grew on me and I find that I'm reading most of her books.

This one is the tale of her rotten brother. Always in competition, always trying to be the best, Richard has an in your face type of personality.

Grating and annoying, he always seems to come out ahead. Trying to beat him at som
I discovered this on while I was looking for a 15 minute read aloud for my students. Good book, not great.
Jul 16, 2008 Erinn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Second - Fifth
Recommended to Erinn by: Well-known author that I wanted to try.
Shelves: picturebooks
Not having brothers or sisters I am always interested in books that deal with siblings.

Patricia Polacco's story was an autobiographical tale as many of her books are. She told the story of how she liked to compete with her older brother, who could always do things better than she could. In this story she sets out to do just one thing better than her "Rotten Redheaded Brother".

*What makes it even better is the fact that my neighbor is her cousin and they gave me a poster signed by her.*

I do thi
Maddi Hurrle
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother is a realistic fiction picture book written by popular author, Patricia Polacco. The book is very reminiscent to her relationship with her older brother as they grew up.

The book tells the story of siblings Tricia and Richie. The siblings display the typical brother/sister relationship. Tricia is capable of doing many things, but whatever Tricia can do, Richie can do ever better. He can spit farther, jump higher, burp louder and so long. Until one night with her
Nani Yanagi
The one thing a little girl hates is her older brother picking on her and beating her at everything. Well, this is the case for Patricia’s brother Richard. Richard is four years older than Patricia and challenges her at everything he possibly can and beats her at it. Patricia gets really annoyed with this and is determined to do something about it. Her grandmother told her about wishing upon a shooting star. Patricia then stared at the night sky waiting for a shooting start. When she did see one ...more
Ashli Stroyan
Tricia is constantly trying to out-do her older brother, because he seems to think that anything she can do, he can to better, and more often than not, he is right. This humorous, silly story exemplifies the “sibling rivalry” that some siblings go through. This was a fun book to read because it was based on Patricia Pollocco’s real-life relationship with her brother. Polacco even includes actual photos of her and her brother inside the front and back covers of the book. Doing this gave the book ...more
Awww I just love this book I like her stuff it's very homey and make your feel light and fluffy like whip-cream! Or like a cloud!
Henna Patel
Summary/Annotation: This is a wonderful book by the author Patricia Polacco. In this story there is a rotten redheaded older brother who is better at everything compared to his younger sister. Her mean big brother always challenges her and proves himself better every time. His little sister becomes upset and she is determined to find something she is better at than him. One night she wishes upon a falling star.The next day a traveling carnival comes into town where they both rode the merry-go-ro ...more
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother is written by one of my favorite authors. This is actually a story that happened to the author when she was younger. The story is about sibling rivalry. Like everyone who has a sibling they always are in competition with will enjoy this story. Patricia is always out-beaten by everything she does by her brother. He always teases her. When a carnival comes to town she wants to find something she is better at than her brother. She makes a wish upon a star for her w ...more
Katie Nanney
This book reminded me of growing up with three older brothers and the typical sibling rivalries that comes with it. The artwork was just like all of Polacco's other books, so they weren't really anything different. I liked the story of part of Polacco's life and growing up with an older brother. It was nice, but it wasn't one of my favorites of hers. On the whole, it felt a little slow and seemed like just another picture book. Once you've read one book about her life, the others kind of blend t ...more
Hayley Swanson
Patricia's older brother Richard is just the worst! He is better than her at seemingly everything, and loves to rub it in. Taking her babushka's advice, Patricia wishes on a shooting star, wishing to be better than Richard at something.

Love Patricia Polacco. This was another great book of hers. It definitely is a must-read for anyone with siblings, especially if they are competitive.
Jennifer Weiss
I thought that this would be, for the most part, a very relatable book for young girls with older brothers. I liked how the two siblings were in a constant competition to see who was better then at the end they were able to reach an understanding and appreciation for each other. The illustrations were quite detailed and colorful. However, I do not like the illustration technique because the illustrations look almost messy. The story seems very real and very relatable. It takes place in a specifi ...more
There's nothing worse than a rotten redheaded older brother who can do everything you can do better! Patricia's brother Richard could run the fastest, climb the highest, and spit the farthest and still smile his extra-rotten, greeny-toothed, weasel-eyed grin. But when little Patricia wishes on a shooting star that she could do something -- anything -- to show him up, she f...
Beverly Johnson
This is my favorite because older sibilings always think they are better then their you get sibilings in everything and not all the time everyone can be good at everything. it was funny when they was eating a very sour plant and the older brother couldnt take it and the little sister won the bet to prove that she can beat her brother in something
Lori Reed
Cameron loved this book because according to her she has a rotten, red headed older brother. It was ok to me but I thought the boy was a bit over the top mean. In my experience it's the opposite. This book is available online :
Shelli Gheen
In My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother (1994, Patricia Polacco humorously tells of how she could never seem to beat her older brother, Richie, at anything when they were children. So she sets out to beat him at riding the merry-go-round the longest. A great example of sibling that is near and dear to my heart.

Themes: Competition; Family; Humor; Sibling Rivalry

Ways to use this book with children:
*Read and discuss students relationships with their siblings or other family members. Have
This story was about a little girl and her older brother. Her older brother could always do everything better than her. He could pick more blackberries and even set a 10 year long record. He could run faster, burp the loudest and spit the furthest. The little sister wanted to find something that she could do better than him. She could eat more of a sour plant than him without getting the puckers, or so she though until he ate one more stalk than her. The little girl began to make wishes on stars ...more
McKinzie Elton
Have students write or draw about an experience with a sibling (students with no siblings can interview Mom, Dad or Grandparents to find a sibling story they are willing to share). Have students illustrate the story and combine everyone's in a Big Book.
Karina Arroyo
This book i considered to be very funand exciting. It began mostly with her talking about how she wants to be better than her own brother. There were many things during the story that allowed the reader to know that she was jealous. The book goes on and they keep seeing things in the morning. What i also took from this activity and i already had used it was the friendship between siblings. Whether they agree or disagree it shows that they will always be there for each other. I personally would s ...more
This is an endearing book about a younger sister and her older brother. Being the older sister to a younger brother, I could relate to this book. This book teaches a great lesson about sibling rivalry and love.
Mrs. Tongate
Beautiful illustrations and a warmhearted tale of brotherly love. For all girls who have a brother(s) that drives them crazy, until they show up and do the kindest gesture out of the blue.
Erica Mayberry
I think this book does a good job of portraying what sibling camaraderie is all about. It shows that even though you may not always win, your siblings still care about you in the end.
Who doesn't have a rotten ____-headed brother? Any one who has been a kid or is a kid can relate to the sibling rivalry in this story. But way down, deep inside we love our brothers and sisters. This would be a great mentor text in the 4th grade for writing memoir, because it is such a universal topic. The characters have great dialogue, and Polacco uses colorful phrasing with multiple adjectives that the students could try on for size,"extra-rotten, weasel-eyed, greeny-toothed grins," as one ex ...more
This book really hit home, being the youngest and having two older brothers. It really shows what some sibling relationships are like.
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