Big Sister, Little Sister - Thao Lam
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Big Sister, Little Sister

Big Sister, Little Sister

Big Sister, Little Sister

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I have a sister and, trust me, one is enough. She is younger and taller than me. I could fill several blog entries with embarrassing stories about Annie, but knowing my sister, she would probably retaliate ten-fold. Keep reading…

Like any siblings growing up, we were at each other’s pigtails but nothing to the point of tears or screaming. There was not much sibling rivalry either, not even for our parents’ affections. Annie was daddy’s little girl and I was my mother’s daughter. (Any parent who tells you they love their children equally is lying. There is always one that they love at least one percent more). We each had our own talents, strengths and weaknesses. As we grew up, we learned to be each other’s defenders and cheerleaders.

I am proud of my sister. She is smart, ambitious, determined, quick-witted with a dry sense of humor, and brave. Sure, I question some of her actions, like that large “ink drawing” on her arm of Gerryson (her cat) with a red cardigan tied around his neck. But, Annie always did march to the beat of her own drum.

February 14th is Valentine’s Day and I just wanted to remind everyone that love comes in many forms. It does not need to be a day about couples only. We should not forget the love of family and friends. So this blog entry is dedicated to my little sister (I won’t use the “L” word, since it would embarrass her) – Annie, you’re awesome!

Big Sister, Little Sister, written and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is about the special bond between sisters. The story is charming and makes you giggle over the simply stated truths about all the pros and cons of having an older sister, as written from the perspective of a little girl.

I totally love the illustrations! The expressions on the characters’ faces are adorable. The Japanese brush pen and ink illustrations were digitally painted using a limited colour palette (brown, pick and red). The illustrations are treated very much like a storyboard, capturing each concept perfectly. I love all the personal touches, like Pham’s dedication to her big sister: “You were always the first at everything, and now you’re my first book!” It’s a perfect gift for a child or a reminder to a grown-up sibling, that the dynamics between big sisters and little sisters never goes away.

Big Sister, Little Sister, a children’s book review by Thao Lam

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Author and Illustrator LeUyen Pham

LeUyen Pham was born in Saigon, Vietnam (I was born in the same city). She attended the Art Center Collage of Design in Pasadena, California. Upon graduation she worked as a layout artist for Dreamworks Feature Animation. She has traveled extensive around the world; check out her travel sketches on her website, it would make you envious of all the places she has been. Currently she lives, works and teaches in San Francisco, California.

I am always tickled pink when an author or an illustrator, takes time out of their busy schedule to reply to a fan mail.

“let’s see, some words on the process of big sister little sister. i hadn’t actually intended for this book to be published, initially. the original version of this book was very similar, but tiny, about 3″x5″, and was designed as a special gift for my sister’s birthday. she cried when she received it, and insisted i try to publish it. i hadn’t thought it would received, as the drawings were so particular to my sister and i. but as it turns out, sisters everywhere seem to have universal similarities, and while i thought i was writing of just us, i was really writing of sisters in general. the book has been a big hit as a result. and of course, true to form of older sisters, my sister insisted that she get paid part of my royalty, “for being the inspiration”. i guess sisters may grow up, but we never change!”

– LeUyen Pham –

To find out more about LeUyen Pham, please visit her website:

Publisher Hyperion (August 10, 2005)

ISBN-10 0786851821

ISBN-13 978-0786851829