cover image The Two Mutch Sisters

The Two Mutch Sisters

Carol Brendler, illus. by Lisa Brown. Clarion, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-43074-7

Ruby and Violet Mutch are born with the collecting bug and grow up with two of everything: “Two sundials, two snorkels, two bouffant wigs, two whirligigs.” By the time they become adults, and their individual styles have emerged—Ruby is 1960s bohemian, Violet leans toward hygge—there’s too much Mutch stuff. Despite Violet’s pleas, Ruby decamps to her own house on the other side of town. “I have made everything just right,” she tells Violet smugly. “And I like it.” But Violet knows—as only a sister can—that Ruby isn’t as happy as she seems, and she takes matters into her own hands. Ruby’s dismissive treatment of Violet may surprise some readers, but overall Brendler (The Pickwicks’ Picnic) and Brown (Goldfish Ghost) keep the mood light—particularly when it comes to Violet’s methods for bringing about a reunion with her sister (it involves “pneumatic jacks, a stack of sleds, a chest of tools, a pack of mules”). By the story’s end, the message is unmistakable and reassuring: love is thicker than clutter. Ages 4–7. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Mar.) [/em]