Author Martha Freeman introduced readers to Holly in The Trouble with Cats, in which the third grader adjusts to her new stepfather and his four pesky cats. Next came The Trouble with Babies, in which Holly settles into a new home in San Francisco and makes friends with Xavier and Annie and her new baby sister. Babies leaves off with the news that Holly's mother is pregnant, but who knew Holly was headed for the double trouble she encounters in herlatest predicament, The Trouble with Twins.
Her identical twin brothers, Jeremy and Dylan, are about to turn two years old. In between the nonstop spills (from both toddlers and cats), her parents' constant fatigue and their mounting arguments, who has the time or energy to plan a birthday party for the boys? Holly eagerly volunteers and enlists the help of her friends. With Holly's detailed plans, Xavier's amazing science tricks and Annie's expertise with toddlers, what could go wrong? An entire class of preschoolers, a mud-soaked backyard, a cat with frosting-covered whiskers and birthday boys sleeping through their own party, for starters. A call to the local joke-telling barristo, a raid of Holly's stepfather's secret cupboard and Holly's own quick thinking and levelheadedness turn a near disaster into mere controlled chaos.
The day's mounting tension and myriad antics will keep young readers entertained. Illustrated with breezy sketches that highlight the story's energy, this book is an excellent selection for children ready to move up from beginning readers to chapter books. Siblings, whether they have twins in the family or not, will relate to the ups and downs of Holly's busy family life. With a concluding phone call from Holly's father, which hints at a new addition to the family, Holly may be in for more trouble, and readers may be treated to more of her adventures. Angela Leeper, a mother of identical twin girls in Wake Forest, North Carolina, can vouch for the realism of Holly's experiences.