As the mother of month-old twins, I think I opened the pages of About Twins even more eagerly than did my five-year-old son.

Inside are lively, adorable photographs of twins identical and fraternal, newborns to older children engaged in everything from infant sleep to squabbling over toys and being buddies.

One can't help being fascinated by these duos, so here is a book for all children, whether twins themselves, a sibling to twins, or simply those interested in the phenomenon.

The text is sparse yet thoughtful, often pairing simple statements such as Some twins like to dress the same; others don't, with direct quotations from twins, such as this one on dressing alike: It's fun, but you shouldn't have to. The authors cover not only twin basics such as fraternal, identical, and boy-girl combinations but also the emotions of twins and those around them. They celebrate the joys of twinship ( Other people might be lonely. We hardly ever are. ) to the trials ( It can be a pain to be a twin, especially when you're left out. ). Certainly the bond between twins is intriguing, as are their similarities. But in a note to parents at the beginning of the book, the authors emphasize the importance of reinforcing the separate identities of twins. And later, in the text, they note: Twins don't always feel the same way or like the same things. And they can be good at different things. They bring home the point by showing two identical boys, one of whom excels in basketball, the other in soccer.

Last but not least, non-twin siblings are not forgotten. One older sister to twins laments: My twin sisters cry a lot. When they're not around I get a turn with my parents. About Twins is a straightforward, sensitively written book for young children. It was an excellent primer for me, too. Wish me luck! (Ages 4-7) Alice Cary writes from her home in Groton, Massachusetts.

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