CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 34. . . . May 4, 2018
We Are Brothers is a captivating and accessible story celebrating summertime and the positive sibling relationship between two brothers! The youngsters, an older, confident, yet encouraging brother and an anxious and somewhat unsure younger one, replay a summer tradition of the elder climbing a high rock and jumping off into the lake. This tale is told from the perspective of the little one who obviously admires his older brother’s ease in jumping from the rock into the water below.
This year, buoyed by his older brother’s support and encouragement, he will have to find the strength and courage to do the same for the first time. With growing trepidation and fear, the younger brother nervously attempts the climb onto what seems like an overwhelming, rugged rock. Slowly the youngster becomes surefooted and steady, finding his way to the top and finding his confidence to take the perilous plunge.
The text and illustrations are deeply intertwined and so reflective of the story. The drawings delightfully portray his ascent of the imposing rock. The warmth of the sand coloured pastels and the illuminating sketches are a visual treat and evoke a true summer feeling while exploring the natural rapport between the protagonists. The imaginative soul of the younger brother is reflected in Jean Claverie’s wonderful illustrations as the youngster morphs into a surefooted cat, a flying bird and a swimming fish. Fear conquered, mission accomplished!
Now on to the unbridled joy of their doing this together.
Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.