If It Weren't for You

Overview

Sooner or later, all big brothers and big sisters think it. Sometimes they may even say it: If it weren't for you, I'd be the only child and I'd get all the presents. But then there are other times too, times when having a younger sibling may just be a blessing in disguise. . . . With simplicity and grace, the legendary Charlotte Zolotow turns her clear-eyed gaze on the conflict and bond unique to siblings. G. Brian Karas's bright, engaging illustrations bring her classic text ...
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase ... benefits world literacy! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Sooner or later, all big brothers and big sisters think it. Sometimes they may even say it: If it weren't for you, I'd be the only child and I'd get all the presents. But then there are other times too, times when having a younger sibling may just be a blessing in disguise. . . . With simplicity and grace, the legendary Charlotte Zolotow turns her clear-eyed gaze on the conflict and bond unique to siblings. G. Brian Karas's bright, engaging illustrations bring her classic text to a new generation.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
This timeless lament of the displaced older sister is filled with all the things she could have or could do "if it weren't for you." It is a long list, from having the last piece of cake or candy and the choice of TV show, to a room or tree house all to herself and the whole bottle of soda. Many older siblings will recognize and admit the irritations that sometimes seem so unfair. But there is one good thing: "I'd have to be alone with the grown-ups if it weren't for you." There is a charming, childlike character to the illustrations Karas creates to visualize the simple, middle-class environment and ordinary activities. But even as these appear, there are frequent, unmentioned intrusions of the younger sibling chasing butterflies outside or, near the story's end, bringing a present of a few flowers only to be yelled at. And then there is the reconciliation on the swings and the satisfying end. Food for thought for siblings.
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Many children often think about what their life might be like if they did not have a sibling. They imagine not having to share everything, watching whatever they want on television, and always getting the front seat in the car. Some of the advantages are obvious, while others are obviously exaggerated. The character in this story envisions a comfortable life without her younger sister. She sees herself basking in the sun while the family dog serves her hot fudge sundaes. It may be fun pretending you are an only child until you stop to consider some of the disadvantages. Imagine being the only one that gets smothered with hugs and kisses from gross grown-up relatives! This charming story was first published in 1966 but even today it still contains the same fun-filled lesson. With updated illustrations that are warm and colorful, this book is sure to capture young audiences again.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Big sister is feeling sorry for herself as she imagines how good life would be without her younger sibling. She wouldn't have to share her room, her treats, or her tree house. She could read all day, hog the bathroom, and watch any TV program she wanted. As she sulks, little sister gradually works her way into her sibling's heart with small acts of kindness. Finally big sister concedes that having a younger sister is not all bad. Wisely the author and illustrator resist the temptation to make the ending overly sentimental. Instead of hugs and kisses, the older girl offers her younger sibling a half smile. This is a re-release of a text originally published in 1966 by Harper & Row. Ben Shecter's original illustrations featured two brothers. The new illustrations not only change the gender of the main characters, but also give the story a fresh, contemporary look. Karas's art is bright and cartoonlike, with contrasting colors that give the simple figures energy. LeUyen Pham's Big Sister, Little Sister (Hyperion, 2005) tells the story from the little sister's perspective. Both are worthy offerings on the topic of sibling relations.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fatherless boy tells his mom of the father he imagines. This dream father would help him with his homework, play checkers, read to him, tell him jokes and understand about being a boy. He would also do his share of housework and show consideration for his wife. Mom listens carefully, but can make no promises or give assurances that he will ever have that perfect dad. But she does tell him that he could be that wonderful father when he grows up. While ostensibly about father-and-son relationships, it is mother love that surrounds this child. Zolotow handles a delicate situation with compassion. There's no pie-in-the-sky happy ending, but there is abounding love and hope. Originally published in 1971, it certainly holds up a generation later. Pham's new illustrations flow across each two-page spread and beautifully capture the spirit of the text. In addition, endpapers depict crayon drawings of scenes of the boy and his father as if the boy drew them himself. Warm and tender. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060269432
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1987
  • Series: A Charlotte Zolotow Bk.
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Charlotte Zolotow—author, editor, publisher, and educator—has one of the most distinguished reputations in the field of children's literature. She has written more than seventy books, many of which are picture-book classics, such as Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present and William's Doll. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

G. Brian Karas has written and illustrated several award-winning children's books, including On Earth and Home on the Bayou: A Cowboy's Story, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book. The picture books he has illustrated include Are You Going to Be Good?, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book written by Cari Best. Mr. Karas lives in Rhinebeck, New York.

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