Hurwitz, Johanna. The Two and Only Kelly Twins
24 September 2013, Candlewick Press
ARC from Netgalley.com
Second graders Ilene and Arlene get along well with each other and are proud to be identical twins. There are other sets of twins in their school, but none as special as they feel they are! They are a little put out when triplets arrive in their grade, especially since the two girls are also identical, but they quickly make friends after trying to fool the girls into thinking they have a triplet sister, Marlene. Other exploits including getting pet ferrets and going trick-or-treating as identical witches.
Strengths: This is a great addition to an elementary collection. Hurwitz writes very fun books, and the addition of illustrations by Tuesday Mourning makes this even more attractive. Young children especially are fascinated by twins.
Weaknesses: Too young for my students. Sigh. So cute!
Simon, Coco. Emma: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
20 August 2013, Simon Spotlight
In this 15th installment in the Cupcake Diaries series, Emma's demanding younger brother Jake has to has his tonsils out because he is always getting sick. He doesn't want to, throws multiple fits, and Emma tries her best to get him to see that he really needs to do this. It's hard for Emma, because she tends to faint at the sight of blood, as she did when she went on an interview to model for a hospital ad. Since her older brothers are too busy to help out with Jake, she manages to overcome her fear and go to the hospital to be with Jake when he has his surgery. The cupcake bakers appear as well, inventing a vampire cupcake for a bridal shower.
Strengths: I have liked the easy to read writing and creative ensemble cast in these books, and they have been popular with me readers.
Weaknesses: I was beginning to wonder when I could stop buying the installments in this series, and this is the one. I really wanted to slap Jake, as well as his parents, for being such a brat, and there was just too much discussion of Emma's aversion to blood for me. And am I the only one to think that vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting that spurt raspberry filling when you bite into them are inappropriate for a bridal shower?