It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
These are two fairly recent picturebooks that feature sisters and the day, slightly unusual, that they get to spend together.
Written by Sydra Malfery Illustrations by E. B. Goodale
Published by: Greenwillow Books (2018)
ISBN: 0062364308 (ISBN13: 9780062364302). Borrowed a copy from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
From the minute Caroline woke up, it is clear that today is no ordinary day. She has not kept to her usual routine and even forgot her socks and lunch box. Her parents also do not seem to be around as it was her Grandma who helped her catch the bus on her way to school.
At school, Caroline also appeared distracted. There is something that is evidently on her mind and has her anxious and counting down the hours until school ends – quite unusual for this girl who enjoys helping out in school and participating in class activities.
I especially loved the image above. As an educator, it is a gentle reminder that young kids may sometimes ‘act out’ unwittingly, not because they deliberately want to make life difficult for their classmates or teacher, but maybe because something important is happening in their lives; something that refuses to be contained and subdued, hence the tilting of chair, chewing of thumbnails, and so forth.
Given our reading theme, it is pretty clear what has Caroline all in a jiffy. Her baby sister, coming from far away, is being brought home by her parents. It is implied that the baby is adopted, but does not explicitly articulate it in the story. This is also a glorious example of a mixed-race family, whereby race is not the predominant theme in the narrative; it simply is. Definitely a book that you should consider adding to your growing list of sibling text-sets.
Written and Illustrated by Brianne Farley
Published by: Candlewick Press (2016)
ISBN: 0763662976 (ISBN13: 9780763662974). Borrowed from Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
These two young girls with different coloured hair have been asked to play outside by their mother. Initially, it was not clear to me whether the girls are sisters; but looking at Goodreads reviews and booklists where this book is a part of, plus the author dedication at the end of the story – suggests that they are indeed sisters.
You know that feeling you get when you just want to read your book in peace, but your younger sibling has other plans for the day? And yes, it includes a secret tree fort with a rope ladder, water balloon launcher, and basket for snacks and emergencies, and so many other terribly important artifacts that can only be investigated fully by a magnifying glass.
The older sister has been studiously ignoring the younger one with fanciful ideas, until she heard that the secret tree fort was made up of candy. Hmm, even I will sit up and take notice. Naturally, they had to argue as to whether this secret tree fort even exists in the first place:
I found this to be a refreshingly moving story of sisterhood that did not feel contrived in the least; it was funny, poignant, and aww-inducing in the end. I was also very taken by the overall design and layout of the book, with the typography that seemed alive and beautifully layered into the images. I will be sure to check out more of Brianne Farley’s picturebooks.
If you have other picturebooks/ graphic novels/ novels about sisterhood and female bonds written/illustrated by female creators that you would like to recommend, we will be happy to hear them and hunt them down in our libraries.
#WomenReadWomen2019: All authors/illustrators are from the United States of America.