From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sandy has always played with her younger sister, Carly, until Lily Jean, in her puffy red skirt and shiny red shoes, moves next door. With her considerable talents-playing the xylophone and drums, skating backward, and standing on her head-she is quite a presence, and Sandy seems to fall under her spell. Carly wants to play make-believe with the older girls, but not the demeaning roles Lily Jean gives her. When they play king and queen, she reluctantly becomes the dog, walking on four legs, crouching under the picnic table, and running off with Lily Jean's red shoe. In the mayhem that follows, Sandy stands up for her little sister and abandons Lily Jean, who is now willing to be anything, even nice, to play with the siblings. Illustrations are ink drawings, painted with watercolors and finished with oil and gouache accents. The three girls occupy most spreads, acting out their various roles in their backyard. Their movements are fanciful, and their faces are expressive. They play as real children do and work out their difficulties with both whimsy and humor. Simple yet natural dialogue makes this engaging tale a good choice for independent readers and as a read-aloud.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Carly loves playing in the backyard with her big sister, Sandy, until bossy Lily Jean moves in next door, takes over their games, and tries to shut Carly out. When Sandy and Lily Jean play house, Carly has to be the baby. When they play cowboys, she has to be the cow. When Carly finds a clever way to get back at Lily Jean, she gains her sister�s support. Now the outsider, Lily Jean changes her tune. Wishinsky re-creates a common childhood experience through realistic dialogue and actions that convey every emotional shift. Just as engaging, Denton�s watercolor illustrations capture the girls� attitudes with gestures and facial expressions that speak volumes. Well paced and fine for reading aloud, this picture book has universal appeal, since every child who�s encountered a mean kid will delight in watching the tables turned on Lily Jean. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan