cover image Real Sisters Pretend

Real Sisters Pretend

Megan Dowd Lambert, illus. by Nicole Tadgell. Tilbury House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88448-441-7

Tayja and Mia may enjoy pretending to be "hiking princesses" who must scale the mountains of the family sofa, but as older sister Tayja makes clear, there's nothing pretend about them being sisters, even though they don't look alike (Tayja has brown skin, Mia white). "We are sisters," she says, staring into Mia's eyes. "Real sisters." In an extended dialogue between the girls, Lambert (A Crow of His Own) highlights the small but important conversations that happen among siblings trying to understand their place in the world and within their families. Tadgell (Friends for Freedom) emphasizes the girls' closeness in warm watercolor-and-pencil vignettes that show them talking about being adopted by two mothers (one is white, the other of Asian background) while playing with their stuffed toy lion, having a snack, and generally hanging all over each other. The sisters also talk frankly about the fact that "some people" don't instinctively see them as a family, remembering a recent grocery store encounter. Though the story is somewhat message-heavy, it's still a useful reminder of the varied ways families can take shape. Ages 4%E2%80%937. (May)