My Wild Sister and Me


My Wild Sister and Me by Iris Wewer

Told from the point of view of a younger brother, this book is about the thrill of having a big sister who not only plays with you, but pretends to be different animals!  She is sometimes a giraffe, aloof and ignoring him.  So he is forced to be a skunk and sulk about it.  Other times, she is a bear and he can be a bear along with her.  Still other times, they are the happiest animals of all, bunnies!  They play Catch-the-Bunny, much to their mutual delight.  But when his sister’s friend comes and asks her to play with her, she leaves without a second thought.  Leaving one very sad bunny behind.  But this bunny is also clever and knows just how to tease his sister into another round of Catch-the-Bunny when she returns.

Wewer captures the sibling dynamic so well here.  From the pull of other friends for the older sibling, to the sense of abandonment for the younger, and finally the joy of playing together.  She has also nicely captured the naughtiness of children, their energy and their vivid imaginations.  It is a book that really feels just as wild and loose as its title implies.

Wewer’s art adds to the dynamic feel of the title.  My particular favorite page features the children dashing around the entire margin of the page dressed as bunnies.  The illustrations of the children plainly show their emotions, from the anger when his sister returns to the blank innocence in case he gets caught taking her toothbrush.  Priceless!

If you have children who are wild, silly and occasionally turn into animals on you, this is the book for them!  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from NorthSouth.

Shout! Shout It Out!


Shout! Shout It Out! by Denise Fleming

Released March 29, 2011.

If you are looking for a book that will help with the wiggles and energy of a toddler or preschool class, this is the book for you!

Fleming takes a fast-paced rhythm that chants for children to shout out the answers if they know them.  Then she runs through numbers, the alphabet, colors, animals and vehicles.  A little mouse makes aside comments throughout the book as well.  The illustrations are classic Fleming with  bright colors, large format, and a very active feel.

Fleming does her art in pulp painting, which gives the colors an unusual depth and a great texture.  The entire book is just as inviting and invigorating as the cover.  While the text is primarily calling for children to shout out the answers they know and then the different names of things, it shows a great restraint that really makes the book work well.

This is sure to be a hit in libraries and preschools.  I’d have it on hand for any rowdy toddler story time.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt.