August 12 – Middle Child Day

Happy Middle Child Day!

Famous Middle Children (listed alphabetically) include Susan B. Anthony, Johnny Carson, Charles Darwin, Princess Diana, Bill Gates, Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, David Letterman, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Julia Roberts and Donald Trump.

And the poster child for Middle Children everywhere…

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Jan Brady, middle sister to perfect Marcia and cute-as-a-button Cindy.

*****

Picture books remind children that being in the middle is often the best place to be!

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Martha in the Middle written and illustrated by Jan Fearnley (2008)

Martha is the middle mouse, between big, sensible, grown-up Clara and clever cutesy-wootsy little baby Ben. Sometimes she felt invisible. One day she decided to run away to the pond at the other end of the garden. There she met a frog. Frog taught Martha that the middle was the best part…the sunflower seeds grow in the middle of the flower, the nectar from the middle of the flowers is the sweetest part, and the juiciest part of the watermelon is in the middle too. Just then her brother and sister show up to see if she has finished running away, because they missed her!

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Squashed in the Middle written by Elizabeth Winthrop and illustrated by Pat Cummings (2005)

Daisy is squashed between a know-it-all older sister and a loud younger brother. Her house was always filled with noise and activity, but no one ever listened to Daisy. They even spoke for her: ‘Daisy doesn’t like apple pie. Daisy won’t go anywhere without her stuffed duck. Daisy’s toothbrush is the pink and green striped one.’ One day Daisy gets invited to spend the night at her friend Rosa’s house. She packs her bag and tells her family that she’s spending the night next door, but nobody hears her. At the end of the evening, her family comes looking for her. They all talk over her, trying to convince her that she won’t like sleeping away from home. Daisy has to shout to be heard. Her family finally understands what she’s been trying to say. They give her a hug good-night and go back home. Daisy and Rosa stay up late and in the morning her family really listens when she tells them about her sleepover.

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 Hoogie in the Middle written by Stehanie McLellan and illustrated by Dean Griffiths (2013)

Hoogie is a little monster who feels like the hole in the middle of a donut. Her sister, Pumpkin, is the big, big girl and her brother Tweezle is the itty, bitty baby. All day long, Hoogie is told ‘you’re too big for this’ or ‘you’re too small for that’. Hoogie has a big little pain in the middle of her tummy which grows and grows until it EXPLODES! Luckily for Hoogie, her parents know just what to do. They tell Pumpkin to play with Tweezle while they have a little ‘Hoogie Time’. They remind Hoogie that the sun is in the middle of the solar system and the pearl is in the middle of the oyster. Then Hoogie smiles and feels like the jelly in the middle of the sandwich… sweet.

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