for Real Sisters Pretend
by Megan Dowd Lambert
and Nicole Taddgell
Mia and Tayja—two sisters of different races—are playing a lively game of “Let’s pretend … ” imagining themselves as princesses, when Mia, the younger of the two, says, “Let’s pretend we are sisters.” Tayja responds, “No, Mia—we don’t have to pretend that. We are sisters. Real sisters.” Then the two reminisce about when Mia was adopted at age two, their childlike conversation sounding very much like the dialogue they were having while pretending, with “And then … ” and “Oh, yeah, and she said … ” Their exchange, depicted in dialogue bubbles, is natural in its account of their adoptions and includes details that would stand out to children, such as remembering that the judge let the older sister’s stuffed lion bang the gavel. Watercolor illustrations focus on the two sisters in the present day, rather than their memories, and at the end of the story a complete family portrait shows that the girls have two moms, also of different races. (Ages 4–7)
CCBC Choices 2017. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017. Used with permission.
I liked how they took care of one another in their pretend-play scenario about climbing a mountain, Lambert says, and I loved how they also took care of one another's feelings as they talked about adoption. REAL SISTERS PRETEND captures these interactions perfectly and movingly.
- Told with simple words and playful illustrations, this book touches on the topics of adoption, two moms, and multiracial family life.
- Modern families can look very different from the nuclear families of yesteryear, but as Lambert says in the book's introduction, No matter how a family comes to be, the most important thing is for everyone to feel loved, safe, and cared for. REAL SISTERS PRETEND is a great vehicle for sharing that love and reassurance.
Fountas & Pinnell Level L
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.