Cover of Take Two by Jane Yolen and J. Patrick Lewis

Take Two

This book began when Pat Lewis and I talked about a possible book together. He is a twin and I have twin granddaughters and twin aunts and twin brothers-in-law, so we began writing poems back and forth to one another. Along the way, Pat became the third Children’s Poet Laureate in America, and Candlewick found the amazing Sophie Blackall to make the pictures. It took about three years altogether for it to happen, but in spring 2012 a box of books arrived on my doorstop that made me grin like a mad woman.


  • Take Two! has been named a Best Children’s Book of the Year for 2013 by the Children’s Book Committee.

Around the web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “We are not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But in this case, let’s do just that. The cover of the new poetry collection “Take Two!,” with its twin toddlers bending upside down, polka-dotted tushies in the air, is quite possibly the cutest one to have crossed my desk in the run-up to spring.
    And since spring is baby season, at least for much of the animal kingdom, it seems an appropriate moment for this “Celebration of Twins” as the authors — J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, both accomplished poets — subtitle it. . .
    This is a book as much — if not more — for parents, both expectant and overwhelmed, as for children. ..
    Sometimes, it seems as if that many are packed into a single Upper West Side preschool, which suggests there’s a built-in readership for this kind of gifty, oversize book. The question is whether they’ll share”–New York Times
  • “This playful collection of twin-themed poems, a welcome addition to the bookshelf on the subject of twins, is as much for parents as for kids. Early poems focus on the time before birth: “Wrestling in the family womb,/ You and sister linger,” reads one, as twins crouch in a “waiting womb” (such puns abound). Other poems speak directly to Mom and Dad (“Imagine that! Your blessed event/ Could grow up to be president!”), and many address twins’ close bond. Blackall’s illustrations are mischievously perky, featuring kewpie doll–like babies and conspiring older twins. This team doubles down on humor and empathy, adding a hint of subversion. Ages 4–up.”—Publisher’s Weekly
  • “This is a treasure chest of poems for parents, siblings and twins, sprinkled here and there with interesting facts. (Imagine, for instance, this hard-to-believe item: “In the 1700s, Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev of Shuya, Russia, had sixteen sets of twins. She also gave birth to four sets of quadruplets and seven sets of triplets!”)”—
  • “A charmer.”—Booklist
  • “Divided into four sections, this colorfully illustrated compendium of poems highlights different aspects of a very special sibling relationship…From lighthearted to thoughtful, rhythmic to balladic, the verses are appealingly varied in mood and style. Whimsical and delightfully detailed, Blackall’s bright-hued watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations depict charismatic youngsters and reflect each offering’s tone. A “Twin Fact” appears on each spread. A fine share-aloud for families with twins and kids who are curious about them.”—School Library Journal
  • Take Two!: A Celebration of Twins makes for a fun poetry read on a subject that holds much fascination, especially to children. Of course, if you’re going to give the book as a gift to twins, you might want to pick up a second copy.”—Good Reads with Rhonna