When I was pregnant with our second child, I spent hours scouring the shops for a definitive book on siblings. My son would be coming up for two when the baby arrived and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for him, and I suppose, for ourselves - the idea of a `terrible two' also feeling jealous and spurned sent chills down my spine. If I'm honest I wanted a book to tell me what to do and solve all my problems. Unsurprisingly that book doesn't exist. In the end I bought Sibling Rivalry, Sibling Love.
I would say from my exhaustive (exhausted?) research that if you only want to buy one book on siblings, this is it. It covers the pregnancy, early days, their childhood together and even goes into adolescent and adult sibling issues. It's occasionally a bit cheesy and luvvy a la `What to Expect' but on the whole it's pretty readable.
I read about two thirds of the book while pregnant and put a lot of the ideas into practice. It's not a quick reference guide with tips and checks - there are much better books out there for that. However it really makes you think about your assumptions about children and what `fair' or `equal' is in your treatment of more than one. It points out that it's not just what we do that matters, but how our children interpret it, and no two children interpret things the same way. Some of the pitfalls it highlights were things that never would have occurred to us otherwise. It's a book I will probably re-read or dip in and out of every year or so as our children grow up.
The best thing the book did was tell me there wasn't a right way to do it, and that my children would fight or not, whatever I did. There's only your best guess and an attempt at fairness. To a meticulous over-preparer, that was pretty reassuring.
Three years on, our kids' (not perfect but loving) relationship is one of my greatest joys. I'm sure much of it is their good character and our good fortune, but I'm also sure that my reading of this book has had no small part to play.