Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Sarah Dyer ; illustrated by Sarah Dyer

Pub Date: March 24th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-84976-659-3
Publisher: Tate/Abrams

Twins go in search of trouble—and find it!

The text doesn’t assign Ellis and Erin pronouns but does identify them as twins. The siblings have light-brown skin, and Ellis wears glasses and has short, curly, dark hair; Erin’s hair is the same color but straighter and longer. These differences in appearance will help readers keep the twins straight as they cause playful chaos in their search for “trouble.” To no avail, they “rummage through the bags and boxes in the garage” and look for “trouble” at the bottom of trash bins and up a big tree. Splashing in a mud puddle brings glee and perhaps an assumption on readers’ parts that this muddy mess is, at last, where the twins “find trouble.” But they continue their search only to dejectedly go inside, “disappointed they couldn’t find trouble.” Dyer’s bright, lively collage art shows the children, dirty and disheveled, tracking mud and detritus into the house, which may again prompt readers to shake their heads knowingly—clearly these children have found trouble, whether they think so or not. But a twist ending, textually reliant on an avoidance of capitalizing Trouble as a proper noun in prior pages, reveals that Trouble is the name of the children’s cat. They find her in a satisfying culmination of their (perhaps) inadvertently mischievous search.

Delightful—and not the least bit troublesome.

(Picture book. 3-6)