FICTION
Just Like My Brother
Viking. Apr. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780425290606.
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PreS-Gr 2–While hunting for his big brother during a game of hide-and-seek, a young giraffe describes his older sibling to several groups of animals to elicit their help. When he meets the elephants who warn him of impending danger, the young giraffe meets it head-on and, although he had not believed it previously, finally becomes convinced: “I am!/ Just like my brother.” What makes this story especially appealing is how the lovely mixed media illustrations, in which large swaths of gold color cover sky as well as land to evoke the African plains, engage readers by providing them with information withheld from the giraffe. Big brother is really close, either behind a baobab tree or following near by. Small images of spotted ears, tail, and then body peeking out from tall grasses are sure to alert readers that a predator is near while the little giraffe remains oblivious. Only the young giraffe confronts the small leopard that eventually appears and questions its intentions.

VERDICT This reassuring story of new-found confidence will resonate with growing youngsters who are discovering their own capabilities. And they will relish being in on secrets withheld from the young protagonist.

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