Twin Pickle

Ann Doro, Author, Clare MacKie, Illustrator Henry Holt & Company $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3802-6
The title notwithstanding, gherkins have nothing to do with this series of vignettes about two sisters. Instead, the narrator's ""pickle"" is telling high-spirited twins Jenny and Ivory apart. As one or the other girl yowls with the family cat or plays in the mud, her identity remains in doubt. Only the twins' twin beds, labeled ""J"" and ""I,"" settle the issue. Doro's own granddaughters-named Jenny and Ivory, of course-inspired this volume; unfortunately, their arrhythmic names result in belabored stanzas (""Who is twirling round and round?/ And who needs to get unwound?/ Both of them, it's plain to see,/ Jenny and, of course, Ivory""). Mackie-who sneaks a likeness of her picture book Red Cat, White Cat into one illustration-gives the siblings identical pink-polka-dot dresses and spaghetti-thin arms and legs. Both girls wear their hair in ropelike, Rapunzel-length plaits that resemble the looping tails of their companions, a mouse and cat. Ronald Searle's influence can be detected in Mackie's goggle-eyed animals and flourishy furniture, though the illustrator's human characters (with dots for eyes and no necks to speak of) betray a style that's still in the development stage. Doro establishes a lively guessing game, but the poetry and paintings are hit-or-miss. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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