#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Sisterhood and Female Bonds

Zoe’s Room and Jungle: Sisterhood in Picturebooks

"Zoe's Room" and "Zoe's Jungle" by Bethanie Deeney Murguia.

Myra here.

These two picturebooks introduce readers to Zoe and her sister, Addie. From sharing a bedroom to chasing each other in the playground, these books about two sisters are perfect for our current reading theme on sisterhood and female bonds.

Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed)

Written and Illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books (2013)
ISBN: 0545457815 (ISBN13: 9780545457811). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Zoe is perfectly comfortable in her own bedroom: she is happy with her routines and values her space for building empires and setting her table for tea with her make-believe royal court. Things change, however, when her Mother decided to move younger sister, Addie, into her inner sanctum.

Suddenly, everything is upended and Zoe feels helpless about the sudden disruption, the fact that she now has to tiptoe inside her own bed, and that the slightest of noises can make her roommate go “Waa!”

How Zoe adjusts to the transformation of her No Sisters Allowed rule, I shall leave for you to discover. While I am not a huge fan of the minimalist art and the stark white faces of the characters, I thought that the story rang true.

Zoe’s Jungle

Written and Illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books (2014)
ISBN: 0545558697 (ISBN13: 9780545558693). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Zoe and her sister, Addie, are in the playground when their mother announced, quite clearly, that they are leaving in five minutes.

Zoe encounters a conundrum, though, as she has just spotted a rare creature called an Addiebeast that she feels she needs to capture before the five minutes are up! Like all mothers, there is a countdown of sorts to prepare the girls for leaving. Any parent with young children would be able to identify with this strategy, which we can only pray will work during the best of times.

Whether Zoe captures this rare creature, the Addiebeast, before her time is up, I shall leave for you to discover. I like this one better than the first book. It does appear that Zoe grows on the reader.

#WomenReadWomen2019: United States Of AmericaFree Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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