cover image Chloe, Instead

Chloe, Instead

Micah Player. Chronicle, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8118-7865-4

“I was hoping for a little sister who was just like me,” says Molly, the nettled narrator of Player’s first picture book. “But I got Chloe, instead.” Molly colors with crayons; Chloe treats crayons like finger food. Molly loves books; Chloe loves to tear pages out of books. It’s so annoying, and yet... maybe the narrator is being a little unreasonable in her hopes for a clone of her own? And maybe there’s something nondestructive that both sisters can have fun doing? Player’s ability to stir up sympathy early on for Chloe, along with his super-stylized, saturated-color graphics (he formerly designed for Paul Frank Industries), give an otherwise familiar sibling-resentment story a fresh twist. In fact, rather than wear out its welcome, his anime–meets–Mary Blair style actually propels the story forward, providing an exuberant counterpoint to the minimalist text (Chloe, the picture of exuberance, is seen gleefully unrolling toilet paper, devouring cookies, throwing clothes, and chasing bubbles in one scene). Readers, and girls in particular, will close the book wanting to hear more from these sloe-eyed sisters. Ages 3–6. (May)