Take Two!: A Celebration of Twins

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Overview

Know some twins, or expecting to? This twinspired collection pairs poems and pictures in a lighthearted salute to the many twins among us.

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...

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Overview

Know some twins, or expecting to? This twinspired collection pairs poems and pictures in a lighthearted salute to the many twins among us.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This playful collection of twin-themed poems, a welcome addition to the bookshelf on the subject of twins, is as much for parents as for kids. Early poems focus on the time before birth: “Wrestling in the family womb,/ You and sister linger,” reads one, as twins crouch in a “waiting womb” (such puns abound). Other poems speak directly to Mom and Dad (“Imagine that! Your blessed event/ Could grow up to be president!”), and many address twins’ close bond. Blackall’s illustrations are mischievously perky, featuring kewpie doll–like babies and conspiring older twins. This team doubles down on humor and empathy, adding a hint of subversion. Ages 4–up. Agents (for Lewis): Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown; (for Yolen): Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Nancy Gallt, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
We are not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But in this case, let’s do just that. The cover of the new poetry collection TAKE TWO!, with its twin toddlers bending upside down, polka-dotted tushies in the air, is quite possibly the cutest one to have crossed my desk in the run-up to spring. And since spring is baby season, at least for much of the animal kingdom, it seems an appropriate moment for this "Celebration of Twins" as the authors — J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, both accomplished poets — subtitle it…With its cheerily sweet and inventively varied illustrations by Sophie Blackall, TAKE TWO! has both a contemporary and a pleasingly timeless feel.
—The New York Times

This playful collection of twin-themed poems, a welcome addition to the bookshelf on the subject of twins, is as much for parents as for kids.
—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
K-Gr 5—Divided into four sections, this colorfully illustrated compendium of poems highlights different aspects of a very special sibling relationship. "Twins in the Waiting Womb" contains offerings dealing with parental expectations and preparations as well as the babies' in utero experience. With titles like "From Here to Maternity" and "Sing a Song of Sonogram," these selections may have the most meaning for adults. However, the next two groupings, which make up the bulk of the book, are a-twinkle with child appeal. Topics treated in "Twinfants" include "Very First Words" ("Me./You./One./Two./Mine./Twin./I win"), taking one's "First Steps" ("Hold on to the table,/The back of the chair,/And I'll be there./I'll be there"), and the unique perspective of a "Mirror Twin" ("I wave, you wave./I smile, you laugh./I wink, you blink./You leave—I'm half"). Focusing on older sibling pairs, "How to Be One" underscores the benefits and challenges of twin relationships such as dealing with similarities and differences, bickering and making up, and pulling the old "Twin Switcheroo game" on Dad. The final section showcases famous twins such as "Conjoined" Chang and Eng Bunker and provides a look at the yearly festival in "Twinsburg, Ohio." From lighthearted to thoughtful, rhythmic to balladic, the verses are appealingly varied in mood and style. Whimsical and delightfully detailed, Blackall's bright-hued watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations depict charismatic youngsters and reflect each offering's tone. A "Twin Fact" appears on each spread. A fine share-aloud for families with twins and kids who are curious about them.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
Veteran poets tap into the never-ending interest in twins with a collection of poetry dedicated to twosomes. Children's poet laureate Lewis, a twin himself, and prolific children's poet Yolen, the grandmother of twins, present 44 poems about twins. Readers will have to guess each poem's originator, however, as none of the poems are signed. Divided into four sections comprising "Twins in the Waiting Womb," "Twinfants," "How to Be One" (about childhood with a twin) and "Famous Twins," the poems explore milestones as twins, the push and pull of twin relationships and the need for individuality. Although some of the poems just reach mediocre, others are positively endearing ("Good night, / Good night. / The single moon / Shines down. / And soon / One sleep / You'll share"). Readers will enjoy dipping into the book and savoring a few poems at a time rather than reading the book in its entirety, as taken altogether, the prevailing rhythmic rhyme can become monotonous. Intermittent twin facts run along the bottom, while Blackall, illustrator of another popular pair, Ivy + Bean, enhances the collection with a variety of twin sets in her signature patterned illustrations, rendered in watercolor, pencil and painted paper collage. Children may muse at the twin depictions, but the real consumers will be the proud caregivers of twins. T-winsome. (authors' note) (Poetry. 4-8)
Pamela Paul
…with its cheerily sweet and inventively varied illustrations by Sophie Blackall…Take Two! has both a contemporary and a pleasingly timeless feel. This is a book as much—if not more—for parents, both expectant and overwhelmed, as for children.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763637026
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 145,389
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Patrick Lewis is the current Children’s Poet Laureate. A twin himself, he has written more than seventy children’s books, including Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses. "Being a twin is the third best thing that has ever happened to me," he says, "after having wonderful children and grandchildren of my own and eating my mom’s apple dumplings." J. Patrick Lewis lives in Ohio.

Jane Yolen, not a twin herself — but with multiple sets in her family — has written or edited more than three hundred books, including the poetry collections Switching on the Moon, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, and Here’s a Little Poem, illustrated by Polly Dunbar. She is also the author of the best-selling How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, illustrated by Mark Teague. Jane Yolen divides her time between Massachusetts and Scotland.

Sophie Blackall has illustrated numerous books, including Deborah Noyes’s Red Butterfly; Rukhsana Khan’s Big Red Lollipop, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; and Annie Barrows’s best-selling Ivy and Bean series. Sophie Blackall lives in Brooklyn.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    A Fun Look at Raising Twins!

    A perfect extra baby shower gift for a couple expecting twins.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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