My Sister Gracie by Gillian Johnson, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
My Sister Gracie

My Sister Gracie

by Gillian Johnson
     
 

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Fabio is an only dog. He longs for a brother to play with him, to share his toys, and to show off to his friends. His owners agree that Fabio should have companionship. The time has come to get another dog.

Much to Fabio’s horror, the dog they bring home is not the frisky brother he envisioned. It is fat old Gracie, fresh from the pound. She’s tired, she

Overview

Fabio is an only dog. He longs for a brother to play with him, to share his toys, and to show off to his friends. His owners agree that Fabio should have companionship. The time has come to get another dog.

Much to Fabio’s horror, the dog they bring home is not the frisky brother he envisioned. It is fat old Gracie, fresh from the pound. She’s tired, she’s shy, and worst of all, she’s a girl. Fabio does everything he can to get rid of the interloper. But while it’s all right for him to complain about Gracie, just watch the fur fly when the other dogs make fun of her. Fabio realizes that families, and love, come in all shapes and sizes.

This story will be familiar to any child who has wanted a brother or sister and is surprised to find that what arrives is not the full-fledged playmate he or she expected.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The rhyming tale is enhanced by whimsical watercolor cartoons…The pictures are humorous, but understated and appealing. An endearing addition to stories about family relationships and sibling rivalry.”
School Library Journal

“Sibling rivalry gets funny, nerve-striking treatment in My Sister Gracie…Johnson combines witty, Seuss-like language with delightfully silly images.”
Maclean’s

“Johnson’s illustrations render the emotion so humorously and expressively that it feels like two new characters might have walked onto the stage of children’s books…all the subtlety and complexity of the emotional dynamics are there in the pictures…Visually this is a delight.”
The Toronto Star

“Johnson’s rhymes are silly and smart, and her illustrations will delight budding young readers or those who love a laptop reading session.”
Hamilton Spectator

“Johnson’s rhyming story moves well as the lyrical narrative bounces gleefully along. No ‘he saids’ or ‘she saids’ clutter the way. Ink-drawn details on muted watercolor follow suit–simple and exceptionally well crafted…the language makes for both a romping bedtime story and manageable goal for new readers.”
Today’s Library

My Sister Gracie is a sweet story about accepting a new sibling even if they are not quite what one expects…The rhyming text makes it a great bedtime story for a youngster about to have a new brother or sister. The rhyming text makes it a fun read aloud.”
Top of Texas Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Leaden rhymes and clumsy anthropomorphism derail this story of a dog who hates his "sister." Fabio, a pooch with a puff of white poodle curls on his head, expects his family to acquire a second male dog as his playmate. He's disappointed when the humans choose an overweight female dog instead: "Gracie was large and lacking zest./ They said, `She'll need a lot of rest.' " Fabio resents Gracie and foresees a rotten future for himself ("Now why is Fabio sad and snappy?/ Gracie was meant to make him happy./ Why do his tears fall down like rain?/ `If Gracie would go, I'd laugh again' "). But when his canine friends mock his new family member ("Hey, Fatso, you're an/ Ugly hound./ Were you the last one at/ The pound?"), Fabio finally comes to Gracie's rescue. Unfortunately, readers will have a hard time understanding his change of heart. Johnson (Saranohair) draws Gracie as an indeterminate mammal with a pinkish-brown body, no visible fur, a catlike tail and a distinct resemblance to one of Berkeley Breathed's creations. Further, the author never supplies Gracie with a personality, and she styles Fabio as an unsympathetic fellow who weeps and insults other characters when he gets frustrated. This maudlin tale of undoglike, mean-spirited mutts fails as an account of sibling rivalry. Ages 3-5. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sibling relationships can be serious and complex. But Johnson, using Seuss-like verses, brings both humor and a sense of proportion to the story of Fabio, a lonely dog eager for a frisky big brother, and Gracie, a tired dog from the pound who monopolizes the family's attention. Disappointed and jealous, Fabio plots to get rid of her. But when challenged by the other dogs, he stands up for her, as a brother should. "Then brother and sister/ Went off to the Park/ And sniffed the world/ Till it was dark." Gently colored drawings create a small, wistful Fabio with springy hairdo and oversize black nose. A big, bulky, but still appealing Gracie, needs both front and back covers to hold her portrait. Beyond the family members and a few other dogs, there's not much detail¾just enough to suggest the settings without detracting from the fun and the lesson. 2000, Tundra Books,
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Blue-blooded Fabio has everything a dog could want-a bone to chew, a rubber ball, a nice family-but it's still not enough. What he really wants is a brother. When his family announces that they are going to get another dog, Fabio dreams of a "baby thoroughbred" that will accompany him to the park, play ball with him, and enjoy lots of canine capers. But, of course, it's all too good to be true. Not only is the new dog no thoroughbred, SHE is also a homely mutt from the pound. Large, lazy, and none too attractive, Gracie is an embarrassment who won't share her bone, chase balls, or chew rugs. Fabio decides that she must go, but Gracie will have none of his plan to get rid of her. When a tiny terrier declares that Gracie is ugly, though, Fabio rises to the occasion: "-she's my sister after all." The rhyming tale is enhanced by whimsical watercolor cartoons, similar in style to Lynn Munsinger's work. The pictures are humorous, but understated and appealing. An endearing addition to stories about family relationships and sibling rivalry.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887767500
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
08/28/2005
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
799,076
Product dimensions:
7.85(w) x 9.97(h) x 0.18(d)
Age Range:
2 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gillian Johnson grew up in Winnipeg. She competed nationally in speed skating, but quit to finish university. She has given swimming lessons in Churchill and was a canoeing instructor in Flin Flon. She’s taught English in Czechoslovakia and high school in Ottawa. Throughout, she has drawn and written. Her first book, Saranohair, was awarded Honorable Mention for the Graphics Prize at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She also created the illustrations for Richard Scrimger’s The Nose from Jupiter and Bun Buns Birthday. Gillian Johnson lives in England.

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