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My Sister Gracie Paperback – 23 Aug 2005

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More About the Author

Gillian is the prize-winning author and illustrator of over thirty children's books, published world-wide and translated into ten languages. She is also the illustrator of Roos in Shoes, by Thomas Keneally, the acclaimed Australian author of Schindler's List.
Gillian's latest books The Lost Sock (October, 2014) and The Very Hungover Caterpillar (November, 2014) are now available on Amazon. She is currently at work on a third parody as well as an art book, How To Draw Everything (May 2015) with Michael O'Mara.

Gillian lives with her husband, the writer Nicholas Shakespeare, and her two sons, Max and Ben, in Oxford, UK.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely adorable & shows how a family is made 19 Sept. 2001
By Leah James - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Once upon a time ago there lived a dog named Fabio ... ". I was literally enthralled with this book from the time I read the first line. The topic was light but in my household both of my children are adopted and this discussed similar issues albeit with dogs. How a 'sister' is brought into the household, the older 'brother' doesn't like her, and how they become a family when others tease Gracie.
I love the illustrations for this book. 18 Feb. 2008
By Miss Print - Published on
Format: Paperback
"My Sister Gracie" is a picture book written and illustrated by Gillian Johnson (originally published in 2005). The book is ostensibly about a lonely dog but, as is the case with any good book (picture or otherwise) it's also about a lot more.

The story starts with Fabio. Fabio has a pretty good life for a dog. Loving family, friends, and lots of toys. But Fabio wants more. To be precise, he wants a brother to play with and share his fun with. As Fabio languishes in the house, his family agrees that Fabio needs a companion. But things don't go quite as planned.

Instead of the mini-Fabio he was hoping for, Fabio's family brings home Gracie--Fabio's new sister! Gracie came from the pound. She's old, tired, shy (and a little weird looking). Nothing like the sprightly companion Fabio had in mind. Certainly not an appropriate addition to his family. Too bad Fabio is the only one who thinks so.

Things only get worse when Fabio and Gracie travel the neighborhood and meet some of Fabio's friends. At least until Fabio realizes that not being able to pick your family doesn't make them any less important.

More perceptive readers than me may have already picked up on the fact that this book would be good for young children expecting a new sibling in the near future. (I only realized that after reading the blurb.) Johnson uses Gracie's arrival to show that new pets (and babies) aren't very exciting playmates and that they need a lot of tender loving care. The book also shows that adopting dogs from a pound or shelter is a commitment. I haven't fully worked out how yet, but I think this book could also work for children who want to get a new pet--but that might be for slightly older children since it's a pretty abstract concept in relation to the crux of the book.

I love the illustrations for this book. I cannot, unfortunately, say what medium Johnson works in as I cannot find that information anywhere online but they look like pencil and ink to me. These drawings are cartoons in the best sense of the word. Fabio is a miniature poodle with what can only be described as a mohawk. And Gracie, well, Gracie is awesome (as is immediately apparent from the picture of her on the cover). Johnson's illustrations, while simple, are rich with motion. You can almost see Gracie waddling along down the street beside Fabio's staccato steps.

As if all of that isn't cool enough, this book is also written in verse--rhyming verse. I've heard lots of different opinions on rhyming in poetry and picture books. Personally, I say if it works, it works. The rhyming works in "My Sister Gracie" adding a lot of rhythm and snap to this cute picture book. recommends this book for children ages three to five. I think the age might even extend slightly higher if a grown up wanted to talk about the "sibling angle" or the rhyme scheme found in the writing.
my sister gracie 7 Oct. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This delightful story about a dog named Fabio who wants a new brother to play with. His owners agree but much to Fabio's dismay they bring home an overweight beagle-basset named Gracie instead of the frisky brother he was hoping for. Initially Fabio does everything he can to get rid of Gracie, but when the other dogs make fun of her he comes to her defence and realizes he really does love her. The story is written in verse and is best appreciated when read aloud. The illustrations are wonderful and bring the text to life. A great book for all kids, especially those with new siblings.
Superb Children's Book 21 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The author has hit a home-run with her brilliant children's book, 'My Sister Gracie'. The book is original, funny and touching. My twin four year-olds love it - we must have read it to them 50 times by now. Highly recommended for young children (and adults!). And oh yes, the illustrations, also by the author are superb.
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