Today’s guest reviewer is author, Esther Jantzen.  Her new book, Plus It! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids shows parents just how to do that. You can check it out at <www.plusitbook.com>. and read Jantzen’s article in our Fall 2009 Education Directory available online.

0763641790medDid you ever wish you had an older sister? Zelda and Ivy: Keeping Secrets written and illustrated by Laura McGee Kvasnosky (Candlewick Press, 2009) can give you a taste of what that might be like.

The two charming fox sisters, who have appeared in four other books, experience plenty of the rivalry that often occurs between siblings. Sometimes older sisters can be bossy, sometimes they might try to trick you, sometimes they like to show off. And sometimes younger sisters figure out smart ways to take care of themselves without fighting or complaining.

This book, with three short chapters, is for the 5–8-year-old set. With the benefit of engaging illustrations, we first learn how Zelda sets up Ivy and her friend Eugene to test whether they can keep woozy-weasel-promised secrets. (Well, it’s very challenging…)

In the second chapter, we see how April Fools jokes can be played by the big sister AND by the little sister. And the final chapter depicts a marvelous attempt by Zelda to stage an opera when those around her are more intent on catching butterflies. One just might end up with empathy for both the elder and the younger. It’s not easy being Sis!

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