cover image The Two and Only Kelly Twins

The Two and Only Kelly Twins

Johanna Hurwitz, illus. by Tuesday Mourning. Candlewick, $14.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5602-7

Hurwitz launches a chapter-book series about identical twins Arlene and Ilene Kelly, friends of the star of Mostly Monty and its sequels. “Arlene and Ilene knew that being a twin was very special, and they considered themselves lucky,” writes Hurwitz, though the girls’ sparring and antics temper any sugariness. They argue about whether to get a puppy or kitten; their father settles the dispute by bringing home two ferrets, which—in a fun dab of irony—the twins can’t tell apart. On Halloween, there’s a minor altercation when both girls want to be witches (“I said it first,” “I said it loudest”). And the twins’ sense of uniqueness is threatened when triplets—whose last name is Best, no less—join second grade; Ilene announces that she and Arlene are also triplets, requiring a flurry of lies (or “jokes” as the girls frame it). Mourning (the Kylie Jean series) pictures the girls with matching red eyeglasses, pigtails, and outfits in watercolor illustrations that add extra punch to a story that’s a natural step up from Grace Lin’s Ling & Ting books. Ages 6–9. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)