From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Jackson blends scientific facts with interesting personal anecdotes to create an informative and intriguing look at twins. The text is clearly written, and the tone remains lively throughout. Separate chapters on identical and fraternal twins present a clear idea of the differences and similarities between these sibling sets. Other subjects include conception and birth, multiple births, and nature/nurture studies of twins separated at an early age. The final chapter is a bit of a catchall, as it discusses stories of twins who faced unusual circumstances (e.g., a brother and sister born months apart), animal twins, twin brothers who married twin sisters, and twin survivors of the Holocaust. Throughout, the author peppers the text with easy-to-understand explanations, updates from the latest scientific research, and the gripping personal stories of twins and their parents. Quotes and family photographs bring these individuals to life. One- or two-page "Profiles" highlight such topics as twins in ancient cultures, the annual International Twins Day Festival, and Eng and Chang Bunker ("the original `Siamese' twins"). The numerous, well-captioned, full-color and black-and-white photographs spread around the edges of the pages give the book an open look and will catch the attention of browsers. Written for a younger audience than Daniel Jussim's Double Take (Viking, 2001), this title will appeal to both report writers and children who are interested in learning more about this fascinating subject.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-8. The author of the Bone Detectives (1996) acknowledges the fascination people have for twins and supertwins (three or more) and elucidates the science behind multiple births. She shows her respect for young readers by clearly explaining such concepts as lyonization, cryptophasia, and zygosity and by quoting doctors and twins researchers, including some of their theories--for example, the idea of "late-splitters" and the possibility that certain foods, such as sweet potatoes, contribute to twinning. Commentary from multiples and their families appears throughout the book, and Jackson ends with the powerful story of twin sisters who survived Mengele's "twin studies" at Auschwitz. Jackson steers clear of sensationalistic attitudes about multiples, and her emphasis on twin science is a welcome change from the focus of most children's books about twins. Readers, including a good many older than the target audience, will come away with a better, fuller understanding of twins and how they come to exist. REVWR
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