Kevin McNamee and The Sister Exchange

Today we welcome Kevin McNamee, who will be talking about his children’s picture book, The Sister Exchange.

Kevin McNamee is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY. He primarily writes for the children’s market. Kevin’s published work includes the picture books, If I Could Be Anything, The Sister Exchange, Lightning Strikes, The Soggy Town of Hilltop and What Is That Thing?

Kevin’s poetry has been published in the collection, An Eyeball in My Garden: And Other Spine-Tingling Poems.

Kevin, what is the story behind this book?

This book is based on my nieces. Like many siblings, they have had their share of fights. One day, one of them asked my daughter is she would like a sister. Then she added, “You can have mine!” That sowed the seeds for what would become The Sister Exchange. I’ve worked in the Finance industry. So I thought what if you could trade your sister like you would trade a stock? The character of Mr. Michaels became the Wall Street broker who could do this for you.

What message are you trying to convey in this book?

That sometimes, the best things are right under our noses. In this case, Brianna already has the best sister. She just doesn’t know it yet. The wacky replacements just help her realize what she already has.

Do you think this book can help with any sibling rivalry issues?

Yes, definitely. I’ve done a few school visits and have read this book to grades 2 – 4. In the Q & A discussions that followed my reading, the children have always been able to determine that Julianne was the best sister for Brianna, and they could always tell me why other sisters weren’t right (Toecheez was always a favorite). They’ve also drawn parallels to their own brothers and sisters. That is exactly what I hoped children would take away from this book. I think that with the situations and the humor used here, this book helps to both validate a child’s feelings and reinforces the reasoning skills needed to sort out the complex emotions involved in having sisters and/or brothers.

What’s the hardest thing about writing a picture book?

One of the hardest things that I’ve encountered is trying to keep the story as short as possible without diluting it. A picture book still has to have all of the elements of a longer story. I needed to pay attention to plot, dialogue, pacing, character development, etc. But I also had to be very diligent about editing out anything that didn’t move the story along. The end result was a tightly written story that educates, entertains, and hopefully solves a problem.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I am a parent, so I’ve tried to make this book enjoyable both to children and any adult who may be reading to them. I really wanted to produce a book that is both useful and entertaining, and I think I succeeded. This book was a lot of fun to write, so I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

The Sister Exchange by Kevin McNamee. Illustrations by Kit Grady

Print ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-015-6

eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-016-3


Chatta?  No thanks.  Rackette?  No way!  Toecheez?  Ewwwww!

Brianna wants to trade-in her sister at The Sister Exchange.  But will she ever find the perfect sister?

This picture book deals with sibling rivalry in a fun and creative way. The Sister Exchange reinforces the bond between siblings, and increases reasoning skills through comparison.

This book is available as a print book, a downloadable e-book, or a book on CD from Guardian Angel Publishing at,

Books are also available from at, at,

Or ask your local bookstore.


What Others Are Saying

“The Sister Exchange has more depth than your average children’s picture book. It meets an emotional need that an older sibling might not be able to express, but Mr. McNamee does an excellent job of using humor to teach just how sacred and eternal family relationships really are.” – Dixie PhilipsWriting4littleones


“The Sister Exchange is one of those stories that will make you feel good by the time you reach the end. As your child follows along Brianna’s journey to trade in her sister, they learn how special siblings can truly be; that despite those little things about them that might bug you, you’re lucky to have them around.

In a fun and engaging way, McNamee has taken a serious issue and turned it into a story that will delight your children.” – Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection


I think every family with more than one young child would be wise to get this book and read it to their kids often.” – Janet Ann Collins – On Words Blog


“The Sister Exchange is a fun read-aloud that will remind young readers that even though they’re tempted at times to trade in their brother or sister, there’s nothing like the sibling they have.” – – Book Review


“Author Kevin McNamee’s delightful story combines with illustrator Kit Grady’s humorous drawings to encourage children in developing, maintaining, and appreciating the relationships that they sustain with a sister or a brother that can result in a lifetime of enjoyment and comradeship.” – Home School Book Review

Other titles coming soon by Kevin include My Brother, the Frog, Papa’s Suns, Just for Today, and more.

To find out more about Kevin, please visit his website at or visit his blog at

You can friend Kevin on Facebook at

He is also on Linked-In and Twitter, but he admits that he doesn’t tweet much.

About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

10 thoughts on “Kevin McNamee and The Sister Exchange

  1. I can see how keeping a troy short could be challenging. It’s easy to write too much, but a children’s book needs to be short, especially if the parents want to go to bed too! Best wishes for your continued success!

  2. Karen Cioffi says:

    Kevin, your books sound wonderful. I can see how The Sister Exchange can be a tool for children to talk about their siblings.

    Kids are such a great inspiration of ideas.

  3. […] More here: Kevin McNamee and The Sister Exchange « Jennifer Wylie's Blog […]

  4. What a great story idea Kevin – speaking as a parent, siblings are such a powerful topic and it sounds like you’ve really tapped into it, both as author and speaker.

  5. kathy stemke says:

    Wow! I could have used this book when my grandchildren were young. I thought they were going to kill each other. All the best, Kevin, with this much needed book.

  6. Kevin,
    I love the topic you picked for your book. I can see how it must have been difficult to keep it short, interesting and get your point across. This looks like a great book to give as a gift.
    Good luck

  7. Thank you all for your comments and thanks to Jennifer for hosting me. It was a lot fun to talk about The Sister Exchange and about picture books in general.

  8. heidiwriter says:

    Love the title and the premise! I’m sure many kids have had the urge to give away their sibling!

  9. Kit Grady says:

    I loved this story and knew it had a great message – Kevin did a great job with a universal theme-


  10. Love the premise of this book. I might need to buy it for my teenage daughters!

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