Saturday, December 01, 2007

Two Sisters, Two Christmases: JoJo & Winnie Again: More Sister Stories by Marilyn Sachs

This second book in Marilyn Sach's Jo Jo and Winnie series begins and ends with a Christmas morning and offers plenty of laughs and fun in the sisters' year in between.

The first Christmas morning finds Jo Jo and Winnie looking forward to the Japanese and French costumed dolls they selected long before Christmas--that is, until they see them. Then each one wants one just like the other has--but NOT the same one the other has! A time-out and some heated negotiation take place before the girls work out a compromise.

During the year, six-year-old Winnie goes from a meltdown at the mention of swimming lessons to becoming the youngest swimmer on the swim team, while ten-year-old Jo Jo stays stymied in the Silver Fish. Jo Jo tries out for the lead role as queen in the class play, but loses, as usual, to Marie, the class princess, and yet graciously helps her little sister enjoy a visit from the Tooth Fairy, even though she knows the dollar came from Dad. Then the whole school comes down with head lice, shower caps are the style of the week, and all the follicularly challenged dads become known as the bald squad when they spend the weekend sanitizing the school.

Winnie's best moment comes when, on Take Your Daughter to Work Day, she goes exploring at her dad's corporate office and winds up having lunch with a stylish lady while she shares the stories employees tell about their boss, "The Head," all unaware that she's sharing sushi with "The Head" herself.

As Christmas approaches again, JoJo confides to Winnie that she believes their mother is expecting a new baby. As Winnie frets about giving up her place as youngest in the family, the two are surprised on Christmas morning with a baby puppy instead.

With echoes of Beazus and Ramona and Junie B. Jones, in JoJo & Winnie: More Sister Stories, veteran writer Marilyn Sachs has a double Christmas gift with fun for the whole year long for the beginning chapter book reader.

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