LIVI AND GRACE Book Review — Sisters, Rhymes, and Colors

“Livi and Grace are sisters, in their hearts and in their name,

But they think it’s odd when people feel they ought to be the same.”

So begins Livi and Grace, Jennifer Lynch’s rhyming picture book about two sisters who are best friends despite—or perhaps because of—their differences. The story takes us through many of the activities the girls enjoy together, detailing each one’s individual approach to life. Livi is reserved and graceful; Grace is loud and energetic. On one page, they do an art project. Livi tries to make her painting realistic; Grace doesn’t bother to color within the lines. Missi Jay’s vibrant illustrations offer many opportunities for readers to engage with the world of the story—some kids may enjoy choosing their favorite cupcake from the bakery window, and those learning to read may be able to sound out the word “STARS” on the cover of Livi’s book.  

For this writer, the last two pages of the book came as a heartwarming surprise: a note from each of the sisters, encouraging readers to love themselves just as they are. The handwriting style and doodles on each note fit perfectly with what we know about the girls’ respective personalities, and may help young readers feel more personally connected to the characters.  

LIVI AND GRACE  - Different, But Not Quite Opposite 

Some readers may feel that though the sisters proclaim themselves to be opposites, they aren’t really all that different. While Livi does things neatly and Grace does them messily, they still both enjoy biking, wearing dresses, and having tea parties. The only physical difference between them is that one is blonde and the other is brunette. You too may be left wishing that a book carrying such a valuable message—to be yourself and embrace differences—would push that message further, and perhaps engage with issues of gender identity, body positivity, or race.  

If your family is looking for a book full of bright colors and positivity to read with children ages 3-6, Livi and Grace may be a perfect fit. Though the idea that people can be friends despite their differences is far from new, a reminder never hurts. 


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For more information, please visit Jennifer Lynch’s website.

Images courtesy of Jennifer Lynch

Fiona Warnick
Fiona Warnick

About the Author: Fiona Warnick

Fiona Warnick is a Creative Writing major at Oberlin College.  She has dabbled in ballet and theater, and speaks semi-passable French.  Born and raised near Amherst, Massachusetts, she enjoys reading middle grade fiction and hiking in her spare time.  She is trying to get better at Scrabble.

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