Author: Lene Ask
Illustrator: Lene Ask
Publisher: Gyldendal
Year: 2011

 The student’s conclusion: Challenges traditional gender norms

There is relatively little text on each page. The text is used mostly to describe the action in the pictures and to highlight what is said in the text. The book has some similarities with the books about Casper and Emma. We meet twins in the book, a girl who is the narrator and her twin brother. They are going to the swimming hall with their mother. When going to change, the boy does not want to enter the ladies’ changing room, he is a boy. As his father is not with them he has to go with his mother into the ladies’ changing room. Here he feels uncomfortable, but his sister helps him and together they resolve the problem.

They go into the toilet cubicle and change into their swimming gear there, Joe puts on Jenny’s bathing suit and Jenny puts on Joe’s trunks. Then Joe doesn’t feel uncomfortable any more, and nobody notices that they have changed, whether in the changing room or in the swimming hall. When Joe is wearing Jenny’s bathing suit he dares to jump into the pool, which he has never dared to do before.
The twins are tough and uncertain in different areas. Joe’s reluctance or uncertainty about entering the ladies’ changing room is the main point of the book. Physical appearance plays no role in the story, apart from the fact that the twins are almost identical.

Conclusion: The girl is the narrator. Gender plays a role in the story as the sister finds the solution. The book has clear gender roles, but it is clear that both boys and girls are active and have feelings. In my opinion the book challenges traditional gender norms.

Student of early childhood education at Oslo and Akershus University College