“I was hoping for a little sister who was just like me,” says Molly, the nettled narrator of Player’s first picture book. “But I got Chloe, instead.” Molly colors with crayons; Chloe treats crayons like finger food. Molly loves books; Chloe loves to tear pages out of books. It’s so annoying, and yet... maybe the narrator is being a little unreasonable in her hopes for a clone of her own? And maybe there’s something nondestructive that both sisters can have fun doing? Player’s ability to stir up sympathy early on for Chloe, along with his super-stylized, saturated-color graphics (he formerly designed for Paul Frank Industries), give an otherwise familiar sibling-resentment story a fresh twist. In fact, rather than wear out its welcome, his anime–meets–Mary Blair style actually propels the story forward, providing an exuberant counterpoint to the minimalist text (Chloe, the picture of exuberance, is seen gleefully unrolling toilet paper, devouring cookies, throwing clothes, and chasing bubbles in one scene). Readers, and girls in particular, will close the book wanting to hear more from these sloe-eyed sisters. Ages 3–6. (May)
From the Publisher
"A charming story about sibling love." - School Library Journal"
Will be appreciated in families welcoming a new addition to the household." - Kirkus Reviews"
The final image of the two sisters snuggling is pure parental delight. " - The New York Times"
Readers, and girls in particular, will close the book wanting to hear more from these sloe-eyed sisters." - Publishers Weekly"
Devastatingly sweet" - Education.com
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Molly is a big sister who always wanted a little sister. A classic tale of sibling discord, Player's story of Chloe's out-of-control antics and Molly's frustration is sweetly resolved when big sister tries playing music for Chloe to dance and realizes that little sister doesn't have to be just like her. Player should know; according to his biography, he has nine brothers and sisters himself. Art director, designer, and illustrator, Player uses his graphic skills to make the simple story vibrate in a retro-type ambience. Both sisters have big heads and enormous expressive eyes; Molly's being dark brown and oval, Chloe's round and green. Against big blocks of super-saturated colors (hot pink, magenta, neon turquoise, lime green, glowing gold) rendered digitally and accented with brushed-in details, Molly grows more desperate as Chloe devours everything from cookies to crayons (and makes off with Molly's beloved Casio keyboard). Big sister's screamwith narrowed eyes and open red mouthcouldn't be more dramatic, while Chloe's dance in her striped pajamas"Fast! Slow! High! Low!"could easily make young viewers want to join in. Parents as well will be relieved as the two sisters curl up together, finally in harmony, the big eyes closed in sleep. After a read-aloud, kids can be encouraged to talk about their exasperating siblings, enticed by the pink, red, and gold endpapers divided into Harlequin shapes with sketches of Chloe's energetic (but endearing) misdemeanors. From chroniclekids.com teachers can download an activity kit with Chloe games, stickers, bookmarks, coloring and drawing pages, and invitations to a Chloe storytime. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The narrator of this picture book wistfully laments, "I was hoping for a little sister who was just like me. But I got Chloe, instead." Molly likes to draw, but Chloe eats the crayons. Molly loves to read books, but Chloe loves to rip out the pages. The breaking point comes when the mischievous toddler sneaks in and hits a sour note during Molly's piano practice. Big sis shouts out in anger, but then feels remorse and comes up with a clever way for them to play together: "Dance, Chloe! Fast! Slow! High! Low!" Player's brightly colored, digitally rendered illustrations feature stylish characters with large, expressive eyes. The simply written text will resonate with children experiencing a similar familial situation. A charming story about sibling love.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Adjusting to a new sibling is familiar territory in children's literature; the recognizable plot here is livened up with lively retro-style illustrations. Told from the point of view of an older sister who'd wished for a mini-version of herself, this features irrepressible newcomer Chloe, who bangs on the piano while her big sister is trying to play it, eats the crayons her big sister loves to draw with, shreds picture books and generally wreaks havoc. Unlike other classic takes on the subject such as Kevin Henkes' Julius, the Baby of the World (1991), the older sister's change of heart isn't catalyzed by an outsider's criticism of the new baby. Rather, she comes to it herself, discovering that Chloe can in fact participate in her own way: by dancing (and burning off that excess toddler energy, familiar to all parents) while big sis plays piano. The illustrations, digitally rendered and finished with ink and watercolor, have a painterly look, with textures, visible brush strokes and vivid colors. The girls are portrayed in stylized fashion, with outsize expressive eyes (deep brown on one, bright green on the other) and '60s-style hairdos (a smart bob on big sis, a high ponytail on Chloe). While the story isn't new, this fresh-looking take on it will be appreciated in families welcoming a new addition to the household. (Picture book. 3-6)