Book Trailer Premiere: Twins by Mike Ciccotello

Hello, Mike Ciccotello! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read. I really enjoyed chatting with you a few weeks ago in Springfield, Massachusetts. I’m grateful you stopped by to share the book trailer for Twins. What should everyone know about Twins before pressing play?

Mike Ciccotello: TWINS is a sweet and silly celebration of the similarities and differences of twinship. There’s something here for everyone to relate to–whether you have a biological twin, a close sibling, or even a best friend.

What came first: the text or the illustrations?

Mike Ciccotello: Isn’t that a wonderful thing about creating both pictures and text? It could go either way. In the case of TWINS, the idea was sparked from an illustration, which lead to a draft in text. After that, it was a back-and-forth conversation between text and illustration until the dummy was complete. I like to keep an open mind when creating, and try to let the story reveal itself to me either way. 

What would we see if we visited your studio?

Mike Ciccotello: Since I work digitally on an iPad, it depends on the day. You might see me on my couch in my living room. Or you might find me at a coffee shop. Or possibly even at the corner of my in-laws’ dining room table. I’ve done a lot of work on that dining room table. Some days I go to the library to work. Some days I go to my actual studio in my basement. Since 2015 I’ve worked on an iPad Pro, and my studio is with me, wherever I go.

Please finish these sentence starters:

I hope Twins speaks to children who are siblings, unlikely soulmates, and, of course, twins. I hope they celebrate their similarities and differences, knowing that if they have a disagreement, a little time apart and compromise can go a long way.

Giraffes are special animals that have figuratively followed me around my whole life– whether it was the giant giraffe mural in my playroom as a kid, or characters I created for cartoon strips. I kind of wish one would literally follow me around though. I think that would be kind of neat. Don’t you think it would be fun to have a giraffe as a friend?

Picture books are little worlds waiting to be discovered by children. They are magical vessels of emotion, adventure, history, and anything else you could dream up. Witnessing children connecting with picture books is such a delight.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me why the color of the boy’s shirt changes over the course of the book. In the beginning of the story, when I’m accenting their similarities, the boy’s shirt is yellow, like the giraffe. But I wanted to visually reinforce their differences when they begin to disagree, so then I changed the boy’s shirt to a light purple, or lavender, which is an opposite and contrary color in relation to yellow. As the story draws to a close—and the sun sets (in purples and yellows)—I wanted to make the point that these colors (and these twins) can work beautifully together.

MIKE CICCOTELLO received a BFA with a concentration in painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. His debut picture book, TWINS, is forthcoming from FSG/Macmillan. Mike’s clients include Scholastic, Highlights magazine and CNN. He has also exhibited at Johnson & Johnson Headquarters and the NY Design Center. Mike is an active member of SCBWI, CBIG, and was a contributing member of You can find him online at and @Ciccotello.

Look for Twins on August 27, 2019. 


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