“Belle and Chloe: Reflections in the Mirror” by Isabela Sardas, Ph.D.

“Belle and Chloe: Reflections in the Mirror” by Isabela Sardas, Ph.D. 1022 1024 Reader Views Kids

Belle and Chloe: Reflections in the Mirror

Isabela Sardas, Ph.d.
Archway Publishing (2023)
ISBN: ? 978-1665741545
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (10/2023)

“Belle and Chloe: Reflections in the Mirror” by Isabela Sardas, Ph.D. is a beautiful children’s picture book about injury and recovery. But also about the bond of twin sisters that transcends adversity. Twins Belle and Chloe are never far apart. Being twins, they do everything together, but Belle is burned by a pan of boiling hot soup in a tragic accident. This leaves her with third-degree burns on various parts of her body. She must also spend several weeks in the hospital to undergo treatment, and then again later for surgery to minimize her scars. 

Sardas has created a loving book about trauma and recovery that should be read by everyone, regardless of if they or their child has suffered an injury. This story doesn’t sugar-coat anything, but neither does it exploit or try to frighten. It’s reality. So many children suffer burns, and the fact that it happens to this family and to these twins puts a unique and emotional slant to the story. Children will read about the accident, the hospital, and the aftermath–meaning how it affects Belle and Chloe, from worry to nightmares, to self-esteem to healing, both psychological and physical.

There is so much poignancy, heart, and realism packed into these 58 pages, it’s amazing. The artwork takes the story to another level and will make you want to cherish this book and share it for years to come. As a former social worker, one of the things I appreciate most about this book is that the wise author shows how the family is affected as a whole, and how it lends support to Belle, Chloe, and the entire situation.

This wonderful little book is encouraging and therapeutic, but also sweet and heartwarming, especially the relationship between the twins. The author has captured the feelings of all family members, from guilt to helplessness. In today’s world, where appearances can mean everything, and so many rely on them for their self-worth and happiness, this children’s book can teach all of us the valuable lesson of accepting ourselves and others regardless of our looks. For a deep, moving story about overcoming trauma and moving on the path of recovery, “Belle and Chloe: Reflections in the Mirror” by Isabela Sardas is a must-read.

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