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Massachusetts Must Read Title: 17th Annual Mass Book Awards
*CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book*
*CCBC Choices Selection*
This warm, engaging story, which unfolds entirely through the conversation of two adopted sisters, was inspired by the author's own daughters, whom she overheard talking about how adoption made them "real sisters" even though they have different birth parents and do not look alike.
"I liked how they took care of one another in their pretend-play scenario about climbing a mountain," Lambert says, "and I loved how they also took care of one another's feelings as they talked about adoption. REAL SISTERS PRETEND captures these interactions perfectly and movingly.
Told with simple words and playful illustrations, this book touches on the topics of adoption, two moms, and multiracial family life.
Modern families can look very different from the nuclear families of yesteryear, but as Lambert says in the book's introduction, "No matter how a family comes to be, the most important thing is for everyone to feel loved, safe, and cared for." REAL SISTERS PRETEND is a great vehicle for sharing that love and reassurance.
Fountas & Pinnell Level L
About the Author
Megan Dowd Lambert teaches in the graduate programs in Children's Literature at Simmons College. At the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art she developed two original storytime models, the Whole Book Approach and A Book in Hand, which are aimed at engaging readers with the picture book as a visual art form. A frequent speaker at professional conferences, schools, libraries, and museums, she reviews children's books for Kirkus Reviews and the Horn Book and contributes to Horn Book Magazine s "Books in the Home" column. A mother of six children ranging from infancy to college-aged, Megan lives with her family in Massachusetts. Her books include A Crow of His Own and Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See.
NICOLE TADGELL'S illustrations have been
featured in The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children's Books and
in numerous exhibitions. She has taught workshops and classes at the Worcester
Art Museum, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and at Society of
Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conferences. Nicole also
lectures at New England schools and colleges and demonstrates the picture book
process in classrooms, libraries, and bookstores. Her award-winning children's
books include Real Sisters Pretend, First Peas to the Table, In the Garden with Dr. Carver, Lucky
Beans, and Fatuma's New Cloth.
Where was REAL SISTERS PRETEND when I was growing up as an adoptee? A must have picture book, especially in today's world of varying family structures. — Chris Soentpiet, illustrator of JIN WOO, AMAZING FACES, MY BROTHER MARTIN, and other books for young readers
Joy. Love. Connectedness. These are all such hugely important things to
hold onto right now in the midst of difficult times. It's paramount that
we keep on emphasising to kids how loved they are, that family is
family no matter what form it takes, that what matters is that we choose
each other, always. "Real Sisters Pretend" (2016) by Megan Dowd Lambert, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell, explores that idea of chosen family so beautifully. It's a playful, joyful story of adoptive sisters, discussing their connection to each other and the misunderstandings of those outside their family.
While it is clearly written specifically to the topic of adoption, the
dialogue is true to life and highly entertaining. And I love the
matter-of-fact choice of the author to make this a two-mom family.
Because family is family, and that's the whole point of the story. — Real Sisters Pretend