Dear Sister (Hardcover)
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781481451420, 192pp.
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Other Editions of This Title:
Whininess, annoyingness, afraid of the darkness, refusal to eat lima beans, and pulling brother’s hair. This is the criteria on which little sisters are graded. Inspired by the notes Alison McGhee’s own kids would write each other, this heavily illustrated collection of letters and messages from an older brother to his little sister reveal the special love—or, at the very least, tolerance—siblings have for each other.
About the Author
Joe Bluhm is an Academy Award–winning artist who worked with William Joyce on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. He’s also a character designer, animator, and recovering theme park caricaturist. He lives in Louisiana. Visit him at JoeBluhm.Blogspot.com.
Praise For Dear Sister…
Letters, drawings, and homemade coupons form this epistolary accounting of two siblings’ young life together, a portrait of frustration and love that spans 10 years: from the birth of Sister to her 10th year, when her brother departs for college. The missives Brother sends reveal his feelings—notes their parents (“the wardens”) make him pen, apologies (also forced), and sibling progress reports (“Whininess: Excellent”). Initially, Sister is an annoyance (she cries, insists Brother read a book for the “763rd time,” fails to respect restroom privacy). But affection grows between them, and amusement and tenderness come through in the letters’ postscripts (from a note to camp: “PS: I miss you, too”). Drawings by Bluhm complement the handwritten text, mimicking the boy’s sketches and the way they change over time. The authentic sibling relationship may border on nostalgia, but it offers a meaningful look at one of life’s realities: sibling-hood and all its foibles.
— Publishers Weekly
"Dear Sister,/ They told me to draw a picture of you for your baby book./ Here you go." So begins a series of illustrated letters from a brother to his younger sister, a less than welcome addition to his life--at least at first. The letters are accompanied by Joe Bluhm's gag-filled illustrations, some in what suggests a child's hand. The letters highlight the brother's frustrations: "Congratulations! According to the judges' calculations, your Cry Olympics scores place you in the top 3% of three-year-olds nationwide." But he has to admit that, by his sister's 10th birthday, she's no longer his nemesis: "Whininess: Could be worse./ Annoyingness: Could be worse." Alison McGhee (Pablo and Birdy) is so unremittingly funny that readers may be caught off guard toward Dear Sister's end, when it's time for the brother to go to college and--who would've thought?--both sibs are heartbroken. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author
Discover: In Alison McGhee and Joe Bluhm's picture book, a boy writes a series of hilarious letters to his younger sister during her first decade.
— Shelf Awareness *STARRED REVIEW*