Tuesday 6 December 2011

Totally Twins - Tropical Trouble

Totally Twins - Tropical Trouble by Aleesah Darlison, illustrated by Serena Geddes (New Frontier Publishing)
PB RRP $14.50
ISBN 9781921042690
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Identical twins may look the same, but can be such opposites in personality. This story, the third in an illustrated series for girls aged seven plus, is written as a travel diary because Persephone and her twin Portia are off to Fiji with Gran. One snag is that they have to take Dillon, the seven-year old pest from next door. And as Portia finds it easy to make friends, Persephone feels like she’ll be stuck with him. Thank goodness she has her diary for company.

At Kids’ Club, the only two girl’s similar in age to the twins hit it off with Portia immediately. The three pal around, leaving Persephone out on her own. Activities at the resort’s Kids’ Club, like dancing, show off Portia’s ability. Persephone is over her sister’s popularity and writes, “I wanted someone to notice me”, confessing that she would like that someone to be the resort owner’s son Ashton.

Not wanting him to like her over Portia, Persephone gets on with the activities everyone is doing, including swimming with sharks and sailing the open sea. That sees her, Portia and Dillon unable to return to shore, but Ashton rescues them. Less skilled at sport than dancing, Portia suffers injuries at tennis and basketball. Again, it’s Ashton to the rescue. Why does everything always work out for Portia? Or does it only seem that way?

By the story’s end, Dillon, an only child, reveals how special Persephone is to him. She sees his loneliness and, despite petty squabbles with Portia, realises she wouldn’t want to be without her. And at the Kid’s Club Disco Dance-off, Ashton wants to dance with her, not Portia. Turns out to be a great holiday, really.

The books simple yet effective line drawings capture adventure, thrills and the emotional rollercoaster of the holiday, as well as the setting, personalities and relationships. It is sure to engross young girls and does not need to be read in the order it falls in the series. This series will be popular in school libraries and have longevity.

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