Susanne Merritt (text), Liz Anelli (illus.), Grace & Katie, EK Books, Nov 2017, 32pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925335545
Meet Grace and Katie, twin sisters who don’t necessarily see eye to eye on everything. Both love to draw, but Grace likes her pictures created from straight lines, squares and angles, while Katie fills hers with patterns, squiggles and swirls.
Things come to a head when Grace decides to make a map of their home. She turns down Katie’s offer of help, wanting to keep her drawing neat and organised. Instead, Katie sets about making her own map.
Both feel something is missing from their individual maps and soon they get to work on each other’s drawings.
Susanne Merritt’s message of individuality and collaboration is subtle and sweet. It teaches to kids to express their creativity, while respecting the efforts of others, as there is no right way to be an artist.
A love of detailed cityscapes and maps shines through in Liz Anelli’s vibrant illustrations created from paint, pencils, collage and printmaking.
It’s a heartwarming and joyful story that will have children poring over each page, talking about their own artistic style and, without a doubt, creating their own maps.
Reviewed by Penny Harrison