Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I wrote a review on Ruth Ohi‘s latest book Chicken, Pig, Cow On the Move (from Annick Press). This week is about siblings as I review Brothers, written by Michael Maze and illustrated by Michael Soloviov. Thanks to Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.
Julius and William are brothers. Julius, the oldest and the story teller, feels he’s wiser, more sophisticated and superior than his younger brother William. Julius feels it’s his duty to share his knowledge and teach his brother a thing or two, especially who’s in charge. But no matter how much sibling rivalry exists between the brothers, they pull together when an outsider tries to separate them. Oh, did I forget to mention Julius and William are dogs.
Yes, it’s true Brothers is based on two dogs. But the story that is told, one of rivalry and friendship is one that even us humans can relate to, especially if you have a sibling. The battles between oldest verses youngest is a common tale, but viewed through the eyes of a dog gives it a fun twist.
My oldest two loved the story. My oldest daughter could see right away the similarities between the two dogs and her and her brother’s constant battles. My son, though I don’t think he thought about the story beyond it being about two dogs, loved their struggle and eventual friendship.
Although Brothers does follow a traditional story with beginning, middle and end, the way it’s told is somewhat unique. Each page is broken into ‘moves’, like Grasshopper, trying to obtain inner peace with William’s over bouncy self or Honor, the battle for the big prize, the bone.
The story builds as the brother’s struggle with each other while their mother is away. Then when the sitter tries to separate them, the two brother’s unite and fight the sitter together, just in time for their mother to return. And just like the brothers, my kids fight until I separate them, then they seem to work together against me. Brothers celebrates the frustration and joy of being a sibling.
If you want to add Brothers to your personal library, be sure to visit your local book seller when the book is expected to be released November 10, 2009. For other great book ideas, read the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.