Twins of the World

Author: Lucy Fitch Perkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
Dates: 1911–1921

Lucy F. Perkins
LUCY FITCH PERKINS (1865 - 1937)
This series of books is based on the idea of introducing world geography and the customs of different civilizations, by way of a pair of twins growing up in various countries. The books are written for grammar school students, and each features a set of twins—always a boy and a girl—who are young and curious, but developed in enough detail to be of real interest. The books deal primarily with customs, geographic, and livelihood issues rather than historical or political issues, but several of the stories are conceived with a historical circumstance such as a war, a flood, or land-reform in the back-ground. In these cases, the day to day life of a typical family growing up in unusually difficult circumstances is portrayed. Most of the books, however, are focused on presenting the life-style and customs of the children in a given country, and their daily activities and education.

While all of the books in the series are intended for elementary school students, and all are well within our range for introductory readers, there is some progression in difficulty within the series, and the ages of the subject twins correspond roughly to the increased reading difficulty. The nationality, and range of difficulty is given roughly as follows: Early elementary: Dutch Twins, Eskimo Twins, Filipino Twins, Japanese Twins, Swiss Twins, Irish Twins, Italian Twins, Puritan Twins; Later elementary: Scotch Twins, Mexican Twins, Belgian Twins, French Twins, Spartan Twins, Colonial Twins.

Dutch Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
Through the eyes of Kit and Kat, 5 year-old twins, we catch a glimpse of life in Holland a century ago. We follow them as they go fishing with grandfather, join their father on market day, help their mother around the house, drive the milk cart, and get new skates. The story draws to a close on St. Nicholas Day when St. Nicholas himself pays them a visit.50 credits

Eskimo Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
Share the adventures of Menie and Monnie, 5 year-old twins in an Eskimo village, where the villagers have to provide for all their own needs. Their father, Kesshoo, is a brave fisherman and strong hunter and their mother Koolee is clever in making clothing and shoes out of the skins of the animals which he brings home. We watch the twins as they spot a polar bear while coasting on their sleds, then join with the villagers in the sharing of the meat and the feasting afterwards. Among the other activities they enjoy are ice fishing, building a snow house, hunting for seals, and traveling by boat to their summering ground where they catch salmon to dry for the winter. Children are captivated by the humor and playfulness in this community where the winter night lasts for four long months!49 credits

Japanese Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
Join Taro and Take, 5 year-old Japanese twins, as they greet a new baby brother, play in their garden, and thrill to the sights they see when they ride in rickshaws to the temple to have their new brother blessed. A rainy day finds them painting pictures with colored sands and harnessing beetles with thread, then preparing for their first day of school. The story concludes with the celebration of their birthday-on different days! For Take and all the other girls in Japan celebrate their birthday on one day with a Feast of Dolls, and Taro and all the boys celebrate on another day with a Feast of Flags.46 credits

Swiss Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
In their small Swiss village, Seppi and Leneli, share adventures and trouble as they help their parents on their farm. Join them as they take care of their sister, baby Roseli, herd goats in the mountains, get lost during a mountain storm, and make friends with other mountain dwellers. 32 credits

Irish Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
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Puritan Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
Daniel and Nancy are 12 year-old twins growing up in Puritan New England during the seventeenth century. As the children of farmers, much of their time is spent helping their parents around the homestead, but the family has an opportunity to go on a sailing expedition and returns to Plymouth rock, the landing place of the pilgrim fathers.47 credits

Italian Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
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Scotch Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
Jean and Jock Campbell are 12 year-old twins who live in the highlands of Scotland near the turn of the century. After helping out on their parents farm, cleaning the house, tending the rabbits, and observing the Sabbath, the twins befriend a new neighbor. Their adventures with their new friend involves poachers, game-keepers and the death of the Auld Laird. 59 credits

Mexican Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
Tonio and Tita are 8 year-old twins who live on a great hacienda. Their parents work for the Spanish senor who owns the estate, and Tita and Tonio help out around the homestead. While gathering firewood the twins overhear a rebel who is trying to raise an army to overthrow the government and return land to the common people. Will the twins father join the revolutionary army, and if so, what will happen to the family? Read their story to find out.54 credits

Belgian Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
As the Germans invade Belgium 9 year old twins Jan and Marie experience the horrors of the First World War. Separated from their mother and father after a bombing raid, the children meet with much danger as they search for their missing parents. In the course of their search they assist a family of refugees, and are themselves sent as refugees out of the country before being reunited with their family.49 credits

French Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
In the threatening atmosphere of the first world war, 9 year-old twins Pierre and Pierette brave the dangers of the German invasion in their home town of Rheims. In the midst of daily bombing from the Germans, they carry on their daily activities to the best of their abilities. When the danger grows to great they flee with their parents to a safer village where they meet with American soldiers.51 credits

Spartan Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
This book provides an excellent glimpse into the lives of two young Spartan children. Ten-year-old Dion and Daphne live the simple life of Spartans on an island near Athens. One day their father takes them on a journey to Athens, where they admire for the first time the splendor of the city. During their visit they become involved in several adventures and meet the great leader Pericles.43 credits

Cave Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins
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