Sunday, November 17, 2019

Review - Sisters First

Sisters First
by Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush
illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki
Date: 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A lovely, lyrical ode to the magic of sisterhood by beloved former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush.

A young girl's wish is granted when a new sister arrives. While the baby can't do much, over time the big and little siblings become inseparable, playing and dancing, imagining and laughing. By each other's sides, they are smarter, kinder, and braver than they ever thought they could be. And they are forever sisters first.

This exquisite celebration of the bond between sisters is inspired by the spirited childhood of Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Presidential daughters seem to be pretty good at writing children's books. Sisters First is a cute little story about having, being, and loving a sister. Told in rhyming verse and illustrated with whimsical illustrations, it would be a nice gift for sisters or sisters-to-be.

A little girl sees her friends with their sisters and says a prayer that she would have a sister of her own. But when her prayers are answered, she realizes that babies aren't all that much fun... at least at first. With a bit of patience, the girl finds that her little sister is exactly what she asked for.

I like the overall sentiment, although I do have some issues with the rhyming text (the meter and rhymes are not that strong) and the language (the use of the word "prayer" rather than "wish" or "hope" makes the book seem more religious than it needs to be, potentially alienating readers who might otherwise get a lot out of the book; there is no mention of God, so the inclusion of the word "prayer" seems unnecessarily polarizing). That said, however, I really enjoyed the illustrations here. They're sweet and colourful, and show all the wonderful things--both real and imagined--that sisters can do with each other.

So, overall, this is a fairly strong book about the bond of sisterhood. Those looking for books that celebrate this particular sibling relationship might want to check it out.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.57 out of 5

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