Peas in a Pod by Tania McCartney

cover image

Ill. by Tina Snerling. EK Books, 2015. 9781921966712
When Pippa, Pia, Poppy, Polly and Peg were born they looked exactly the same. And they did everything the same. And at the same time. Even toilet training! But as time marched on, as it inevitably does, the girls started to change, as they inevitably would. They like different things and do different things at different times. The changes become challenging. And their parents can't cope so they step in and put everything right. For a while everything is the same again until as time marches on, as it inevitably does, the girls start to change again, as they inevitably would. And this time they are old enough to take control - just little things at first but eventually.
This is a superb book that looks at growing up and how there is an inner us that demands to be different even if we are one of identical quins! And that that little point of difference is what makes us unique and needs to be explored, exploited and celebrated. Charming, quirky illustrations that are so appealing emphasise the humour which make this so much more than a mundane story about growing and changing. While the adult reading the story to the child will empathise with the parents in the story, the child will just love it and delight in trying to trace each girl's journey.
This is a wonderful way to talk to students about not only finding their inner self, but having the courage to stay true to it. While we often focus on looking for the similarities of people while we ignore their physical differences, this takes that to the next level by looking beyond the similarities to the deeper differences. It's about individualisation rather than generalisation.
Loved it.
Barbara Braxton