REVIEW: Brothers From A Different Mother by Phillip Gwynne and Illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Published: 3rd April 2017

Publisher: Penguin Viking/ Penguin Random House Australia

Pages: 32

Format: Hardcover Picture book (courtesy of the Publisher)

RRP: $19.99

4/5 Stars

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.

From a master storyteller comes this heartfelt story of friendship…and seeing past our differences.

Brothers From A Different Mother by Phillip Gwynne and illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall is a stunning and poignant book that I wish everybody knew about. In a world full of fear and hate, it’s a shining light daring children not to dismiss someone based on their differences, but rather to celebrate and explore those differences.

Brothers From A Different Mother is the age old story of how two individuals from very different treks of life meet and become life long friends. When Tapir and Pig first meet they are confronted by each other’s differences, but drawn in by their similar physical attributes and common interests. Before long the pair are the best of friends, but their parents and the community around them fears their differences and seeks to split apart the pair. What follows is a story about the strength of a friendship that defies stereotypes and bulling. In a world full of Cow and Monkey’s (the book’s detractors), Brothers From A Different Mother asks the reader to choose to be like Tapir and Pig; to see beyond what everyone else sees, while illustrating the role that perception and acceptance can play in your life and your friendships.

Phillip Gwynne has crafted a very poignant and engaging narrative that seeks to inform and explain to young children about accepting one’s differences and celebrating diversity. The text is simple and easy to understand, making it an ideal story to start open discussions at both school and in the home.

When a author and his story are combined with the right illustrator, magic happens, and that is exactly what Marjorie Crosby-Fairall’s illustrations have brought to this book. As powerful and poignant as Gwynne’s narrative is, it’s the illustrations that bring this story to life. Each double page spread is a whirl of colour, excitement (and at times sorrow), and there is so much detail in each and every picture. It’s Crosby-Fairall’s illustrations that highlight the fine line between the two leads similarities and differences, and just how special their friendship is. The images are highly emotive and simply stunning; I personally couldn’t believe how life like the animals looked.

Brothers From A Different Mother is a fantastic contemporary text to explain to kids about diversity, differences and acceptance. Given the current political climate with race/colour/religious divide, Brothers From A Different Mother is not only a beautiful text to behold, but it’s a powerful and educational piece that seeks to inform and breed understanding. All in all, there needs to be more books like Brothers From A Different Mother out there.

 

To purchase a copy of Brothers From A Different Mother, visit the following online retailers:

Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Booktopia | Dymocks | Penguin Books Australia | OBD

To learn more about Phillip Gwynne, visit the following social media sites:

Goodreads | penguin Books Australia |

To learn more about Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, visit the following social media sites:

Marjorie’s WebsiteFacebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Penguin Books Australia |

 

 

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