I’ve been wanting to write a post about a book that’s very special to me. But there’s really no way to write about it without first introducing the parent book. Or should I say, the sister book?
“Ten Sisters” is a captivating true life account of a large family’s struggles, closeness and separation in the early 1940’s. The other, “Ten Little Sisters” is a beautifully illustrated version for children.
Back in the early 1940s there was a local family in need of assistance. The parents were poor and divorcing, and unable to properly care for their ten daughters. The girls ranged in age from two up to sixteen.
A family in this situation today could probably expect some kind of assistance for basic needs such as medical care, food and shelter…even education and help finding employment. Instead of help, this family was split up and dealt out.
Their book, “Ten Sisters” is the story of these girls. Each sister has authored her own chapter of memories before and accounts of life after the day the court tore their family apart.
Ten Little Sisters
The sister book came a little later. And since it’s my sister that illustrated this sister book, I went to her…to get a firsthand account of how the children’s version, “Ten Little Sisters” came to be.
In 1998, I was a member of the Friends of the Library Club. Our number one goal was to promote the library. So after overhearing a woman tell her pharmacist that she had written a book with her nine sisters, I decided to pursue their book, Ten Sisters. A book signing, at the library, followed.
As part of the book signing decor, I drew rough sketches of my interpretation of the ten sisters’ childhood. It was a poor but happy one. When the sisters arrived they got a kick out of those sketches.
The youngest sister, and publisher of the book, Doris Wenzel pulled me aside. She said that my drawings captured the “essence of their childhood” and wanted to know if I would be interested in illustrating a children’s book depicting their lives. I said yes and we proceeded with the book signing. I can’t tell you much about it though as my head was in the clouds.
A few years later, the book was complete and released. “Ten Little Sisters” was written in the ten sisters’ words along with my illustrations. ~Lana Hill
“Ten Little Sisters” presents the story of simpler times, where children played with their imaginations and one another. Each full-page illustration depicts a memory of how this family was able to entertain themselves and survive without fancy clothes or shoes, nicely stocked pantries or toys of any sort.
They made do with what they had and they were very happy to have one another.
This is an terrific book to add to your children’s library and is especially good for the homeschooling family. “Ten Little Sisters” can be tied in with history lessons about the Great Depression, art, reading and arithmetic (my 4yo loves to count the sisters on each page).
This story is a great way to incorporate lessons of gratitude…to reflect and appreciate what we have…to teach little ones to be nonjudgmental and to have compassion for the circumstances of others.
Be sure to click on the cover photo of “Ten Little Sisters” (above) to head over to Amazon.com. There you will find more information and reviews. Get your copy today! You’re going to love this book and so will your children.