Saturday, May 19, 2012

Take Two! A Celebration of Twins

Title: Take Two! 
Author: J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen 
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall 
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 2012 
Genre/Format: Poetry/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Old twins, new twins, famous twins, not-at-all-alike twins, side-byside twins, let's play twins, not-yet twins, mirror twins - all kinds of twins! - come together in a collection of original poems by two of our most celebrated authors for young people: J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen. From a wave and a wink to a twin switcheroo, from a rocket to the moon to the old woman who lived in a shoe, these poems and mini facts, whimsically illustrated by Sophie Blackall, will leave even singletons with a twinkle in their eyes. Here is the perfect book to share with the twins in your life - and everyone who loves them. 
What I Think: I'm not a twin myself and I have no idea what it truly feels like to be a twin, but I imagine the poems in this book would speak to twins. The poems cover so many different feelings - from how parents might feel to find out they are having twins, to how twins feel a strong bond with each other, to how they feel about developing their own identity. I have always thought it would be cool to be a twin - to have a partner in crime who would always have my back no matter what - but my husband has said he would never want to be a twin or to have twins because of how hard it would be to be who you are as your own person apart from your twin. I feel like it must be similar to sibling relationships just completely heightened. There is an interesting bond between siblings who are non-twins, too. Using these poems to make text-to-self connections would be great. Oftentimes, I think it is hard for kids to grasp the idea that they can make a connection even though it may not be a direct connection. I'm guessing most kids will not be a twin, so it will be unlikely for them to be able to make a connection by saying, "I'm a twin." Those with siblings I'm sure can relate to some of the feelings they have towards a brother or sister. A perfect example of a text-to-self connection with how a character feels in the text.


When I received this book from Candlewick, I knew exactly who I was going to be passing it along to. I have a co-worker who has become a friend through blogging and Twitter (Hi, Erin!). We would share stories and tips during our pregnancies and as moms of newborns - except she had twin girls two months after I had my second son. It was neat to hear her perspective on things and how it was similar but different from my own. With every complaint I had, I thought of her and how it would be double the work for her with her adorable twins.

I will be sharing some of the poems from this book with one of my students who is a twin and talking to him about how he can relate to the poems. I also think these poems are great for talking about siblings in general and for giving kids some perspective into what it might be like to have a twin and how there are pros and cons to being a twin. It would be great for reading before reading a novel with characters who are twins or just to start a discussion about siblings in general. I am currently reading Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine and the main character, Marlee, is super shy. When her older sister decides to move into their brother's old room (he's at away at college), Marlee takes it really personally. It made me think of the poems in this collection that talk about how siblings can be the best of friends but can also hurt us the most because we are so connected to them. Also, Colby and I are reading and discussing See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles this month, and the siblings and their relationships in Harry's is amazing. It is so well-written and would spur great discussions on sibling relationships (although, there aren't any twins).
Read Together: K - 12 
Read Alone: K - 12 
Read With: We Are Not Eaten By Yaks (Accidental Adventure series) by C. Alexander London, Genius Files by Dan Gutman, See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles, Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Snatch of Text:  
How Twins Talk
Not with a ga-ga,
Not with a goo,
But with a wave
And a wink
And an I love you.
p. 21

Learning to Tie Our Shoes
Every time I tie my shoe,
I think of me, I think of you,
And how the laces, side by side,
Are so much stronger when they're tied.

As one loop goes around the other,
So we twins bond - sister, brother - 
Safely knotted, like a shoe,
You to me, and me to you.
p. 34
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions, Perspective Taking 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Poetry, Personal Narrative  
Writing Prompts: Write about your sibling or what it feels like not to have a sibling if you are an only child. Describe the friendship you have with your sibling(s) or the animosity between you. Write about a time when a sibling helped support your or hurt your feelings. Write about what you imagine it would be like to have a sibling if you are an only child. 
Topics Covered: Siblings, Family, Parenting, Twins, Famous Twins, Sibling Rivalry, Friendship, Identity, Individuality, Growing Up
Jen *hearts* It:
 
**Tremendous thanks to the great Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book to review.**

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