Publishers Weekly Review
This entertaining compendium of 15 concise, chatty tales spotlights the relationships among siblings renowned for their achievements, foibles, eccentricities, or birthrights: Wilbur and Orville Wright, Serena and Venus Williams, the Jacksons, and others. Krull (One Fun Day with Lewis Carroll) opens with her most sensational entry, about Mary I and Elizabeth I, Henry VIII's sparring daughters, revealing how Mary's perpetuation of her father's ruthless treatment of family and foes earned her the nickname Bloody Mary ("She revived the laws against heresy... and started torturing and killing Protestant heretics, displaying the rotting corpses all around London as warnings"). Among the most moving chapters are those on Vincent van Gogh and his devoted brother, Theo, and on Princes William and Harry, whose bond was strengthened by tragedy. Comics sequences at the end of each chapter offer supplementary details about these siblings and about families in general. Krull's wry asides and droll observations make for a light and lively narrative, as do Lam's loose caricatures. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 4-7-Keeping your friends close and enemies closer has been a tried-and-true sibling strategy through the centuries. Prolific nonfiction writer Krull has organized a unique biography collection that is sure to be a cult classic. Famous siblings include Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary, the van Gogh and Wright brothers, the Romanovs and Kennedys, the Jacksons (Michael, Janet, et al.), Serena and Venus Williams, Demi Lovato and Madison De La Garza, and others. The sibling tales are short and packed with humor and playful illustrations, as well as additional facts in comic form. The narratives cover rivalry, competition, love, loss, illness, and genuine devotion. Serious topics are lightly covered, such as Michael Jackson's facial surgeries and Lovato's bipolar diagnosis. This book is an inventive choice for reluctant readers or a companion text to social studies lessons. VERDICT Perfect for those who loved Georgia Bragg's How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous and a great companion for National Sibling Day (April 10) lessons or as a read-aloud.-Laura Dooley-Taylor, Lake Zurich Middle School North, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
History is jam-packed with siblings, some who got along (like Chang and Eng Bunker), and others who decidedly did not (Queen Elizabeth I and her half sister, Mary). Krull's genial overview introduces readers to a wide range of famous siblings in short, lighthearted chapters accompanied by amusing illustrations and brief comics, which cover everything from theories about sibling personalities to descendants of famous siblings. Most of the selected figures will be recognizable, such as the Orville brothers, the Romanov children, Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, Vincent and Theo van Gogh, Princes William and Harry, and Venus and Serena Williams. However, the final two chapters, which feature Demi Lovato and her half sister, Madison de la Garza, and the Gosselin children from the TLC show Kate Plus 8, seem out of place among the rest of the notable figures. While none of the chapters are particularly comprehensive, they're full of interesting facts and helpful context, and elementary- and middle-school readers will likely get a kick out of the relatable angle.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2018 Booklist