Lisa & Lottie by Erich Kästner

TitleLisa and Lottie (originally Das Oppelte Lottchen)
Author: Erich Kästner
Genre: children’s fiction
ISBN: none (old edition)
Length: 136 pages
Year Published: 1949
Source: public library
Rating: 5/5
Challenges/Resolutions: Years of Books Goal

Summary: Lottie Horn and Lisa Palfy meet at a summer camp for girls when they are nine years old. The surprise is, they look exactly like each other! Lottie–from Munich–only has a mother; Lisa–from Vienna–only has a father. It doesn’t take long for the girls to discover what they really are to each other: twin sisters! At the end of camp, they decide to switch places to get to know their other parent. But when it turns out that their plans to reconcile their parents is threatened by a young woman out to marry their father, things start to get a little crazy 🙂

My Thoughts: I already knew how the story ended because I’ve seen both film versions of The Parent Trap, which are based on this children’s book and I just assumed that the ending couldn’t deviate too far. But it was still a wonderful book. These girls are quite smart for being only nine years old–they seem older than that, in my opinion. There isn’t a whole lot of depth to this novel, probably because of the intended audience. Even the part that should be the most complex isn’t very: the part when the girls’ parents decide whether or not to get back together. They just sort of decide without any discussion or anything. (This part in the movies is much more interesting.) But I realize that could get complicated for younger readers, so I understand why it’s written that way.

Book vs. Films (1961 & 1998 versions of The Parent Trap)
I think that the book and the films are just great 🙂 The stories follow the same storyline, but the smaller details are pretty much all different. That makes them different enough that I can enjoy each in its own right. I’d love to read the book to my future kids. Although I never understood why exactly in both of the films, they used a non-twin girl. Wouldn’t it have just been really easy to use real twins in the films? But, then again, if they used real twins, they might not be “identical” enough. For some reason this never occurred to me 😕 Duh!

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2 thoughts on “Lisa & Lottie by Erich Kästner

  1. Lucia says:

    I read that book when I was 11, during Summer holidays, and enjoyed it so much!! 😀
    I didn’t know it was published in 1949, that’s old.

    • Kristie says:

      I hadn’t realized the story was that old either. I just knew it had to be older than 1961 because of the first movie giving it credit in the credits. And I guess that’s only 12 years older than the movie. But I still didn’t realize it was that old 🙂

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