Monday 5 June 2017

Brothers from a Different Mother

Brothers from a Different Mother by Phillip Gwynne, illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall (Viking) HB RRP $19.99
ISBN 9780670078486

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

It’s not often there is a tapir in a children’s story so it’s a refreshing change to see one on the cover of this picture book, knowing it’s sure to be a main character!

Every day two animals see each other playing down at the waterhole - Tapir, from the jungle, and Pig, from the village. Both animals look very similar and, at first, they are curious as to whether they are in fact the same. When eventually they notice some differences, they decide that they are ‘Brothers from a Different Mother’ and develop a special bond.

This new friendship sees Tapir and Pig happily playing together every day until their fathers get involved and forbid the friendship due to their prejudices. The separation naturally causes sadness for Tapir and Pig, who are both their parents only offspring. Both miss their new ‘brother’. Will Tapir and Pig find a way to be together again or will others’ misconceptions force them apart forever?

The life-like illustrations are presented in a combination of single page images, double page spreads and vignettes. The text is very repetitive with both animals having the same thoughts, the same conversations and the same experiences, however the repetitiveness also highlights just how similar both characters are...perhaps even Brothers from a Different Mother!

This picture book is suitable for children aged 5-8. This story can be a great addition to the primary classroom and form a great conversation starter about friendship, similarities, differences and prejudices.

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