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BOOK REVIEW: Brothers from a Different Mother by Philip Gwynne and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

| 28 October 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Brothers from a Different Mother by Philip Gwynne and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Penguin | Viking
April 2017
Hardcover, $19.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book


Tapir lives in the jungle.

Pig lives in the village.

But when they meet at the waterhole, they discover they are the same in so many ways.

They might even be brothers from a different mother!


This is a cute little story about friendship and about not judging people (or animals) based on what they look like of where they’re from. Just because Pig lives in the village, it doesn’t make him a snob, and just because Tapir lives in the jungle, it doesn’t make him a wild animal(metaphorically, of course).

Pig’s father tells him he can’t play with his friend Tapir, and Tapir’s father tells him he can’t play with Pig. Throughout the story we see how similar the two are as their thoughts and feelings echo each other, and in the end when Father Pig and Father Tapir can’t tell their own son from their friend of an entirely different species. 

Like I said, it is a cute story, nicely illustrated, and it delivers a good message for young kids. The biggest problem I found with this book was that even a clued-in seven-year-old didn’t seem to understand the concept of the phrase, and explanation didn’t help much with her conclusion being that the two were God-brothers, when the book is clearly trying to say that the two have a lot in common, and that the way you look doesn’t mean you can’t like the same things and be fantastic friends.

The repetition of the thoughts and actions also seem a little simplistic and at odds with the understanding of this concept, but this could also be a good read for families with siblings who have different parents, in which case the phrase would mean something else again.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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