This girl, that girl by Charlotte Lance
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760291709
(Ages: 5-8) Difference, Personalities. This is a unique story inspired by the author's two children, one who is messy and the other who is neat. Two girls live side by side; one is messy and unorganised and does wild things like walking along a wall while blindfolded. The other is neat and somewhat obsessive about order, doing crazy things like vacuuming the lawn. Their respective fathers are the exact opposite of them (the disorganised girl has an organised father and the organised girl has a disorganised father). Therefore, when each couple set out to build a tree house, their respective approaches to the task see them finish up with nearly identical products (showing elements of both order and chaos). As the author says of the book, it shows that 'whoever we are, we usually get to where we're going in our very own ways'. It highlights differing personalities and emphasises that it is ok to be unique and individual, even if it means we are different to our own family. The repetitiveness and the use of 'this' and 'that' adds a nice flow to the story when read aloud and the illustrations are wonderfully detailed and intricate, perfectly portraying the personalities of the characters. It is more suited to older children, as younger children may not fully understand the concept or the point of the story. They also may not understand the outlandishness of the things the characters are doing or the nuances of their extreme personalities, which require close analysis of the intricate illustrations.