No matter what book we read these days, we cannot get to the story until we establish who is which character. Every person/animal in every book needs to be divided between the girls.
Sometimes it is easy. The blond twin claims all the blond characters. The brunette twin claims all the dark-haired characters. Some times it's a bit more hazy. Any character with red hair is open for negotiation. Boys belong to both twins, but not always based upon hair color.
Some days the people in a book are divided based upon clothing colors. Pink goes to the blond twin; purple goes to the brunette twin. Blue? Red? Yellow? All other colors become fair game. The twin with the fewest characters can pick up a few others depending upon how who has more in her stable.
When it comes to animals, it's a free-for-all. The girls fight over who is the elephant or dog or whatever.
This process adds a few extra minutes to each book -- and often a lot of frustration for us. This is especially true in a book where new characters are introduced in the middle of the story. As soon as a new character shows up, we need to go through the whole process again.
It used to be cute, but now it's just annoying. We once thought it was creative, but now we just say, "Do you want me to read this book now?" While we're rolling our eyes and mediating disputes, the girls are busy trying to decide if the blond twin is more like an orange giraffe or blue turtle.
Sometimes we try to move the process along by assigning characters to the girls. It doesn't work as well as we'd like it to.
I'm sure some child development professional would explain how this process is helping them learn to negotiate or perhaps that person would help us understand how the girls see themselves in the different characteristics each person/animal shows. I'd like to think there is some good that comes from the process, but right now I'm too busy trying to figure out why the brunette twin wants to be the bear in the book "Mud is Cake."