If my own experience and that of my kids are anything to go by, the dynamics between siblings can get pretty darn complicated even at a young age. While I won’t go so far as to describe it as a ‘love-hate’ relationship, it can swing between less drastic, but no less dramatic, extremes — say, ‘growl-giggle’, ‘claw-cuddle’ or ‘share-snatch’ — particularly throughout the growing-up years. As such, anyone who has a sibling will be able to relate to Chloe, Instead, a sweet book about the eponymous little girl, as told from her big sister’s perspective.
Like all younger siblings, Chloe has a knack for driving her sister crazy with her antics. In fact, even though they have shared DNA, sometimes, it feels as though they are as different as chalk and cheese.
The eye-catching illustrations in this book are outstanding for their striking use of colour, particularly in the background — there’s not a single dull page in this book, for sure — and distinctive character design, which result in the ’60s-Mod yet thoroughly modern, graphical feel of the book. I also love how well the personalities of the two sisters come through in the text and illustrations — contrasting yet complementary, somehow — especially on the pages where they appear together.
As this book sweetly conveys, the bond between siblings is a pretty special one — built up from days upon years of fighting, making up, sharing, screaming, laughing, crying, dancing, singing… In short, the privilege of growing up together. There’s probably a good reason why we don’t get to choose who or how our siblings will be: life would be infinitely less Chloe-ful, and we’ll be the poorer for it.