Ah, it’s stories like William’s Getaway by Annika Dunklee and illustrated by Yong Ling Kang that make me wish I’d been a better older sister growing up. This is such a sweet story about two brothers, the youngest, Edgar, who always wants to play with his sibling and the eldest, William, who just needs a break sometimes. And what better way to find that break than by hiding away in the one place his little brother will never go?
As an older sibling, I can unquestionably understand the desire to hide away from younger siblings when I’ve grown irritated with them. There’s a reason that kids fight with their brothers and sisters, after all. Wants and needs don’t always align. For me, I was very much like William. When I grew tired of playing with my sister I would want to do my own thing without her. I, however, did not have an imaginary hot air balloon to hide in while my sister was afraid of heights.
The amazing thing about this story comes in how kind young Edgar is as he considers visiting his brother, desperate to spend some time with him. He even prepares the snacks! But, of course, he is still afraid of heights and so it is William’s decision to either help Edgar overcome his fear and join him or to leave his brother on the ground so he can keep his quiet space.
The artwork in this book isn’t massively impressive or anything, but it is quite adorable. I especially loved the hot air balloon and the colors. For young kids who read this book, I think it will be the illustrations that really keep them engaged. And hopefully, they will learn to appreciate their siblings just as much as William grew to appreciate Edgar.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.