Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Annie and Simon

Annie and Simon

Catharine O'Neill
For ages 6 to 8
Candlewick Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-0763626884

One day Simon and his little sister Annie are hanging out indoors. Simon is reading a book when Annie announces that she is going to be a hairdresser when she grows up. She has styled Hazel's hair so that Simon can see for himself how skilled Annie is. Of course, Hazel is a dog and she is the kind of dog who doesn't have much hair on her head, so Annie's hair styling efforts have not had much of an impact.

   Annie then asks if she can "fix" Simon's hair. Though Simon feels that his hair is fine the way it is, he agrees to let Annie do her worst, which she does. Then Annie decides to style her own hair, with disastrous results. Annie needs Simon to rescue her from a decidedly "stuck" hair situation.

   On another day Annie and Simon are at the lake when Annie decides that she wants to go on a loon hunt. Though he clearly has misgivings, Simon loads Annie into the front of their canoe, Hazel the dog into the middle, and he does his best to paddle from the back. This is not easy to do because Annie is not the most cooperative of passengers. Nor is Hazel, who won't stop barking. Simon does his best to keep the canoe upright, but when you have a wiggly girl and a barking dog in your vessel, this can be rather challenging.

   In this wonderful book readers can enjoy four stories about Annie and her patient and long-suffering big brother. Simon never gets annoyed with his chatty little sister, and he is always there when she gets herself into a muddle and needs a helping hand. Children will enjoy seeing how these siblings interact and they will laugh when they see what Annie gets up to. If only we all had a big brother as nice as Simon.