Sisters of the Mist

Flying Eye/Nobrow. Jul. 2022. 136p. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781838740740.
Gr 3-8–Spaaij, a known name in Dutch animation, has written and illustrated a charmingly fantastical coming-of-age tale. At the beginning of our story, sisters Janna (youngest), Kyra, and Margot (the eldest, 12 years old) drive to visit their grandmother, sharing stories about the magical creatures who live in the forest along the way. The reader quickly realizes that the stories are real, as the girls see the spooky “Fog Furies” swirling in the air. Soon, the girls are playing with the fairy-like “Alfs,” finding talking turnips, and evading trolls—not to mention the local Hellhound. The girls may be familiar with the mysterious creatures in the forest, but they are less familiar with the confusing perils of growing up. When Margot begins menstruating during the visit, Kyra must grapple with the growing divide between her and Margot. Even as she tries to come to terms with this, Kyra must also protect her older sister from the dangers of the forest when Margot participates in a magical coming-of-age ceremony with the Fog Furies. The art throughout juxtaposes solid line work with soft watercolors that underline the mysterious feel of the story. Those who rejoiced to see period products on display in the recent movie Turning Red will appreciate the straightforward representation of menstruation in this story.
VERDICT A sweet story that explores the changing relationships between siblings wrapped in a beautiful fantasy world. A solid read both for those coping with puberty as well as with their younger siblings.

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