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CHLOE, INSTEAD by Micah Player


by Micah Player & illustrated by Micah Player

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8118-7865-4
Publisher: Chronicle

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)