Chloe, Instead by Micah Player

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.

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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.

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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.

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2 thoughts on “Chloe, Instead by Micah Player

    • It’s one of those books that took me by surprise by how good it was — style and substance in one package is hard to come by. Plus, my kids loved it too and they are pretty tough customers ;)

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