The Trouble with Twins

Kathryn Siebel, illus. by Júlia Sardà. Knopf, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-101-93273-5
Twins Arabella and Henrietta Osgood were inseparable when they were younger, but although they “were both beautiful girls... Arabella was somehow more beautiful than Henrietta. And that is where the trouble began.” When Henrietta’s jealousy takes a vindictive turn (her sister’s bangs are involved), she is sent away to live with a grim, demanding aunt, which separates the girls for the first time in their lives. Meanwhile, the adults in the story have more than a whiff of Dahl—frequently ridiculous, useless, and even downright nasty. Henrietta and Arabella’s journey to overcome numerous obstacles to reunite is filled with physical trials and emotional growth as they realize how much they need each other. An unnamed mother recounts this tale to her daughter, whose frequent interruptions (“ ‘Spectacles?’ asks the girl. ‘Glasses,’ says the mother”) create a clever, warmhearted overlay to this eccentric adventure. Sardà’s angular, Gorey-esque spot illustrations capitalize on the story’s gothic atmosphere, a promising debut for Siebel. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Miriam Altshuler, Miriam Altshuler Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/06/2016
Release date: 08/09/2016
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-0-399-56902-9
Library Binding - 256 pages - 978-1-101-93274-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-101-93276-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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