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IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU by Charlotte Zolotow


by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-027875-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

Originally published in 1966 with illustrations by Ben Shecter, this new edition changes the sex of the children in the pictures (and gets them out of cowboy and Indian outfits), but preserves the original text. With an ill temper uncharacteristic of Zolotow, a young narrator fulminates about how much better her life would be if she were an only child, able to have the whole last slice of cake and the whole bottle of soda, to watch any TV program she wants, to have her own room, uninterrupted reading time and never “have to set an example.” In the simply drawn and colored pictures, a child angrily rejects the overtures of her little sister until tears begin to flow, then makes up and even finds a silver lining on the last page when she gets to stand back and watch while her sister takes the brunt of the cheek-pinching from a gaggle of arriving relatives. Aside from one scene of the narrator with a portable music player, the visual details are as timeless as both the nonsexist text and the sibling resentment. (Picture book. 6-8)