Tim and Ed by Ursula Dubosarsky

cover image

Ill. by Andrew Joyner. Penguin, 2014. ISBN 9780670074631
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Siblings, Twins, Similarities, Difference, Independence. Twin koalas, Tim and Ed are the same. they have the same faces, arms, legs and noses. They look at their father and wonder why there is only one of him, and the ducks when there are so many ducklings. When Tim falls into the pond he is pulled out by Dad, and Ed jumps in as well. After a noisy bath time Dad tells the boys that Auntie Pim is taking Ed to stay with her for one night. Tim is rather dismayed but Dad says they will do lots together. At each house, Tim is shown with Dad having a good time on their bikes, while Ed is enjoying his stay with Auntie Pim, playing trains. But at night when they go to bed, a little wistfulness occurs, as Tim looks over at the empty bed in their bedroom, and Ed looks sadly at his image in the mirror.
The following day when Ed returns, Auntie Pim says that she will take Tim for an overnight stay next time. The three go down to the pond again and see that the ducklings are no longer there. They have grown up and flown away.
In four line stanzas, Dubosarsky tells her story of difference. Tim and Ed may be the same, looking the same, but they are different beings, and in this story they are growing up, like the ducklings, soon to fly on their own, but with a strong family and sibling bond behind them. This is a lovely story of difference, of accepting difference and similarity, of a child's place in the family, of growing up. With its wonderful vibrant illustrations, showing the two being together, of doing all sorts of things together, then staying apart for one night, Joyner ensures that the readership will empathise with the two little boys and their developing independence.
Fran Knight