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JUST BECAUSE by Rebecca Elliott Kirkus Star

JUST BECAUSE

By Rebecca Elliott (Author) , Rebecca Elliott (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: April 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7459-6267-2
Publisher: Trafalgar

An endearing and enduring picture book about sibling love. On the very first page, Toby tells readers about his older sister. “My big sister Clemmie is my best friend.  She can’t walk, talk, move around much…cook macaroni, pilot a plane, juggle or do algebra. I don’t know why she doesn’t do these things. Just because.” With the many books about disabilities that are already on the shelves, it is refreshing to find a book where the narrator is the younger sibling. However, Clemmie’s wheelchair plays only a minor role in this story. The wide-set eyes of Toby and Clemmie (and each creature on the page) reveal a deep concern and appreciation for each other. The list of quirky things about both children, whether it's eating crayons or having enormous hair, are accompanied by the refrain that emphasizes that the reasons why don't really matter: Just because. The double-page spreads burst forth in vibrant colors and energetic streaks and swirls. Clemmie, whose name, like the refrain, is always in the same distinctive faux-handwritten type, remains (mostly) serene and still. Full of unconditional love, this is a must-have title in today’s world of false perfection. (Picture book. 5-10)