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The Two Mutch Sisters by Carol Brendler

The Two Mutch Sisters (edition 2018)

by Carol Brendler, Lisa Brown (Illustrator)

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Title:The Two Mutch Sisters
Authors:Carol Brendler
Other authors:Lisa Brown (Illustrator)
Info:Boston: Clarion Books, (2018), Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Tags:out-of-step-with-the-zeitgeist, picture-books

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The Two Mutch Sisters by Carol Brendler

Recently added bycemutch, AbigailAdams26

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Ruby and Violet Mutch were collectors. Whatever the one collected, the other must have as well, leading their collection to grow as they did. Eventually, living together as older women, they found themselves somewhat crowded by all their possessions. Or rather, Violet did, while Ruby was content. But when Violet moved out with all her things, establishing her own home where she had enough room to breathe, both sisters found themselves missing something: each other. Was there a way to bring them together again, while also respecting their different needs...?

I had mixed feelings about The Two Mutch Sisters, which is my first picture-book from author Carol Brendler, although my third from illustrator Lisa Brown. I appreciated the fact that the Mutch sisters are older people who have a story of their own, rather than being relegated to the role of grandparents or caregiver to a child, as is so often the case (not unnaturally, given the target audience) when the elderly are depicted in children's books. That said, there was something so blithely privileged about the whole scenario, about the fact that these sisters live together but have two of everything, about the fact that they amass so many possessions that they can hardly move, and most of all, about the fact that the solution to their problem is not learning to share, or getting rid of some of their things, but rather to get two buildings to house them and everything they've collected, that I felt almost repelled by the story and its resolution. I realize that many will read it as a lighthearted tale of two siblings learning to accommodate their differences, or possibly even a gentle, somewhat oblique treatment of issues like hoarding, but I couldn't help but feel that it also offered an unintentional commentary on the out-of-control materialism that seems to be gripping American society at the moment.

Perceptions vary, so take that interpretation as you will. Leaving aside such issues, this is a cute book, one which pairs a fairly engaging tale with appealing artwork, and which might have appeal for those looking for sibling stories for the picture-book set. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Mar 13, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carol Brendlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, LisaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The two Mutch sisters have two of everything, and Violet believes they are as perfectly matched as the objects in their collections.

Ruby, however, has other ideas. And she’s ready to do something about them.
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