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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the twins' blanket, written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Farrar Straus Grioux, Douglas & McIntyre. 2011. $18.95 ages 3 and up

"And we've shared the same
blanket since we were born.
That's what Mommy says.
But we are big girls now."

Identical twin girls who not only look alike, but share everything. Sharing can be a dilemma for anyone. These cherubic children know about sharing from the time they shared space in 'Mommy's belly'. The pictures on the wall illustrate many proud moments.

From the get-go they have shared the same blanket. It covered them as newborns and it continues to keep them warm now, at five. There is a problem:

"I'm five, too. We're twin sisters, silly?
The blanket has gotten too small for both of us."

What are they to do...two girls, one blanket? They have ideas, but those ideas do not include sharing. It leads to anger and a alienation. Twin beds, one blanket...something must be done! Off they go to buy new fabric for their own personal blankets. After help from her daughters in preparing the fabric, Mommy is ready to sew them. Of course, there is an arugument about whose should be done first.

I love the fact that the author has a clear understanding of the dialogue that goes back and forth with five year olds. They are honest and upfront about their insecurities, and their feelings as life begins to change for them. They have a little spat and find a solution, then find something else to cause an argument. In the end, Mommy finds a perfect solution as to who should get the original blanket...and peace reigns.

Hyewon Yum uses white space to perfection in this winsome book about siblings. Because of that every detail stands out for her young audience to enjoy. One twin on one side and one on the other give us a sense of their individual selves, while understanding they share the same space. One on one side of the bed, one on the other; one on one side of the blanket, one on the other; one with her back to the other in the centre of the full page spread...I could go on. There is so much to see and enjoy as you share this with eager listeners.  It is delightful!

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