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Two of a Kind
     

Two of a Kind

by Jacqui Robbins, Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
 

Meet Kayla and Melanie—two of a kind and official first-grade mean girls. This is a new kind of playground bullying. These girls tease, whisper, and get their way all of the time, even when that means turning one friend against another. Anna is too smart to fall for their charms. . . . Well, almost. The allure of the in crowd is strong. But after an early

Overview

Meet Kayla and Melanie—two of a kind and official first-grade mean girls. This is a new kind of playground bullying. These girls tease, whisper, and get their way all of the time, even when that means turning one friend against another. Anna is too smart to fall for their charms. . . . Well, almost. The allure of the in crowd is strong. But after an early falter, Anna discovers she’s stronger when she stands up for herself and for her friend Julisa. This book is modern, multicultural, and has a message worth sharing— the perfect book to read to a classroom, to a daughter . . . or to a bully!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
The spare text shows the ins and outs of playground dynamics. Kayla and Melanie are smart alecks who make fun of others. Julisa and Anna are bookish types with glasses. Anna and Melanie are paired for an experiment with color. When the water from the experiment spills, Melanie draws Anna away from cleaning up by running out to recess. Anna sits on the jungle gym with Melanie and Kayla while Melanie makes fun of Julisa's large glasses. The next day, during reading time, Anna declines her friend Julisa's invitation to share their favorite poetry book. At recess Kayla and Melanie tell Anna she should get braids and better glasses. At the end of recess, Kayla and Melanie decide to stay on the jungle gym until some one comes to get them. Julisa calls to Anna, who is glad to rejoin her friend. Julisa and Anna pronounce themselves, "two of a kind." The water color illustrations catch the character of each girl. In each pair there are differences in skin color. This is a book to celebrate friendship based on similar interests. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Anna and Julisa are friends who both wear red glasses and are quiet, shy, and helpful. Kayla and Melanie, referred to by everybody as "two of a kind," are not as nice, and their mocking, self-importance is somewhat alluring to naive Anna. When they begin to include her in their games, she is secretly delighted. She feels guilty about leaving Julisa alone but sits silently by as the two malicious girls scoff openly at Julisa and call her "Miss Giant Eyes." It soon becomes clear to Anna that she doesn't have much in common with these bossy and unkind classmates. When she finally realizes that she much prefers the company of her goodhearted and true friend over the two "popular" girls, she leaves them behind with no regrets. The well-designed pastel watercolor illustrations connect this story with the author and illustrator's previous title, The New Girl…and Me (S & S, 2006). Filled with characters reflecting varying ethnic backgrounds, both offerings could easily be set at the same school. There's not much here that hasn't been done before but the book imparts a good lesson that needs reinforcing.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
What makes a true friend? Kayla and Melanie are "two of a kind," but not in a good way. They stick together, dress the same, exclude others and even mock other girls in the class. Julisa and Anna are buddies, too, but they're the kind of girls who help others and invite everyone else to play with them at recess. This sweet friendship is threatened when Anna briefly joins the mean girls and ignores her friend. Schoolchildren will nod with recognition and empathy when Anna is torn in two directions and will breathe a sigh of relief when she makes the right decision. This straightforward and familiar situation is made even clearer by Phelan's expressive watercolor illustrations, in which Kayla and Melanie's sharp eyebrows let the reader know just what kind of girls they are. Teachers and parents in need of a springboard for discussions of exclusion and social cruelty will find this book very helpful. Julisa and Anna are fine models for young girls looking for guidance in the ways of friendship. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416924371
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
07/07/2009
Edition description:
Repackage
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
708,581
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

Kayla and Melanie are two of a kind. That's what Kayla and Melanie say. Even our teacher, Ms. Becky, says it sometimes, like when Kayla and Melanie beg to be partners at work time.

Julisa and I like to be partners too, but nobody calls us two of a kind. Ms. Becky does say, "Julisa, Anna, can you help?" a lot. And we do.

copyright © 2009 by Jacqui Robbins

Julisa stands below the jungle gym. She says, "Recess is over, you know."

Kayla makes a face and laughs. Melanie says, "We're not coming."

Julisa looks at Melanie. Her eyes are sharp and her voice is calm. "I'm not talking to you. I don't care about you." And I can tell she really doesn't.

Julisa turns back to me. She blinks. "Anna?" Her voice is shakier, like maybe now she does care.

"If you get down...," Melanie says.

copyright © 2009 by Jacqui Robbins

Meet the Author

Jacqui Robbins is the author of The New Girl . . . and Me. A former teacher, Jacqui is now a full-time mother in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Visit her website jacquirobbins.com. Matt Phelan‘s black-and-white illustrations can be found in the Newbery Medal winner The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron as well as in The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney. He is also the illustrator of The New Girl . . . and Me. He lives in Philadelphia and can be found online at mattphelan.com.

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