This girl that girl by Charlotte Lance

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760291709
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Difference. Neighbours. Families. Living next door to each other, two girls cannot be more different. This girl is neat and tidy, with neatly combed hair, tied up shoelaces and neat clothes, while that girl has every which way hair, floaty clothing with a cape and seems careless of which colours go with what. The soft watercolour illustrations will attract the reader's attention from the start as they turn the pages and take in the differences shown. Over the page we see the sort of things each girl likes, further underlining their differences. This girl likes to collect plants to add to a scrapbook, hoovering up the scraps at the end of her day, and is particular about setting the table, and often sits in a corner and reads. That girl, on the other hand loves running through the leaves, scattering them around, climbing onto a brick wall and walking along the top, and eating worms. They could not be more different. Over the next few pages we see their families and their houses, marking their differences again, but now their fathers seem the exact opposite of each girl. One dad is neat and tidy, the other dressed in unusual clothes with wispy floating hair. Each dad has attributes seemingly more aligned to the girl next door, not their own daughter.
But when it comes to building a treehouse, despite all the preparation on one side and the haphazard manner of building on the other, both finished tree houses look exactly the same. Readers will love comparing both girls and their fathers, comparing the attributes of each of the people shown, comparing the preparation each does to build the tree house with the final results. Readers cannot help but see that despite outside appearances, we are all the same.
Fran Knight