cover image Zelda and Ivy

Zelda and Ivy

Laura McGee Kvasnosky / Author, Laura McGee Kvasnosky / Author, Laura Mc

In this insightful look at sisterhood, two young foxes take different approaches to playing. The mildly traitorous Zelda takes advantage of Ivy, her gullible younger sibling. Ivy, on the other hand, indulges her sister and wears a look of quiet dismay when things go wrong. In the first of three chapters, Ivy pretends to be a trapeze artist, and ringmaster Zelda tests her with increasingly difficult tricks. Next, when Zelda suggests a make-over, Ivy is her trusting victim: ""Zelda cut scallops into Ivy's fluffy tail.... `Shall I scallop your tail?' asked Ivy. `Wait until I'm done,' said Zelda."" Yet, as Ivy well knows, her big sister has a big heart. At the conclusion, Ivy's wish for a silver baton ""just like yours"" prompts Zelda to anonymously (and somewhat reluctantly) donate her own prize toy. Kvasnosky (Mr. Chips) shows that age has its advantages (Zelda owns the baton and gets the top bunk) as well as its responsibilities (Zelda gives Ivy the baton because of her remorse). Gouache images pair waxy black outlines with warm, crayony colors. Kvasnosky's clean draftsmanship of the foxes, with their arrow-shaped faces, black-dot eyes and tiny fox toys, recalls Kevin Henkes's mice, and the true-to-life childhood situations recall Henkes as well. Rare for a book about siblings, its sympathies reach out to readers regardless of their birth order. Ages 5-9. (May)