Lottie and Lisa
One of earliest German editions, c. 1949
|Original title||Das doppelte Lottchen|
|Illustrator||Illustrated by Walter Trier|
The book originally started out during World War II as an aborted movie scenario. In 1942, when for a brief time Kästner was allowed by the Nazi authorities to work as a screenwriter, he proposed it to Josef von Báky, under the name “The Great Secret”, but before he could proceed the Nazis once again forbade him to work.
After the war, Kästner worked the idea into a highly successful book. Subsequently, it has been adapted into film many times, most notably Disney's The Parent Trap-film series, as well as being translated into various languages.
Two nine-year-old girls, Lisa Palfy (orig. Luise Palffy) from Vienna, and respectful shy Lottie Horn (orig. Lotte Körner) from Munich meet in a summer camp in Bohrlaken on Lake Bohren (orig. 'Seebühl am Bühlsee'), where it is discovered that they are identical twins whose parents divorced, each keeping one of the girls.
The girls decide to trade places at the end of the summer so that Lottie will have a chance to get to know her father and Lisa will get to meet her mother. While many adults are surprised at the changes in each of the girls after they return from camp ("Lottie" has apparently forgotten how to cook, gets in a fight at school, and becomes a terrible student, while "Lisa" has begun to keep a close eye on the housekeeper's bookkeeping, will no longer eat her favorite food, and becomes a model student), no one suspects that the girls are not who they claim to be.
When Lottie (under the name of Lisa) finds that her father is planning to remarry, she becomes very ill and stops writing to her sister in Munich. Meanwhile, Lottie's mother comes across a picture of the two girls at summer camp, and Lisa tells her the entire story. The girls' mother calls her ex-husband in Vienna to tell him what has happened and to find out why Lottie has stopped writing. When she hears that her daughter is ill, she and Lisa immediately travel to Vienna. At the daughters' request, the parents are reunited.
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
The story was adapted as:
- 1950: Two Times Lotte (West Germany)
- 1951: The Lullaby of Hibari, (Japanese: ひばりの子守唄, romanized: Hibari no komoriuta) with Hibari Misora (Japan)
- 1953: Twice Upon a Time (United Kingdom)
- 1961: The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills (United States)
- 1965: Kuzhandaiyum Deivamum in Tamil (India)
- 1966: Letha Manasulu in Telugu (India)
- 1968: Do Kaliyaan in Hindi (India)
- 1980: Mischievous Angels (Korean: 개구장이 천사들, romanized: Gaegujangi Cheonsadeul, Korea)
- 1987: Pyaar ke kabil" in Hindi (India)
- 1991: I and Myself: The Two Lottes (Japanese: わたしとわたし ふたりのロッテ, romanized: Watashi to Watashi: Futari no Lotte, Japanese animated TV series)
- 1994: Charlie & Louise (Germany)
- 1994: Dvynukės (Lithuania)
- 1995: It Takes Two with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
- 1995: Sisters Apart. (Persian: خواهران غریب, romanized: khaharan-e gharib) with Khosrow Shakibai (Iran)
- 1998: The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan (United States)
- 1998: Minty (TV series), a 13-episode Australian-British comedy television series
- 1999: Mania czy Ania in Polish (Poland)
- 2001: Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi in Hindi (India)
- 2002: Cómplices Al Rescate for TV (Mexico)
- 2003: Tur & Retur (Sweden)
- 2007: Das doppelte Lottchen in animation form (Germany)
- 2015: Cúmplices de um Resgate for TV (Brazil)
- 2017: Das doppelte Lottchen for TV (Germany)
- 2020: Identical, an upcoming British stage musical
- Kästner, Erich; Walter Trier (Illustrator) (February 1, 1962). Lottie and Lisa. Translated by Cyrus Brooks (English ed.). Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-030167-4.
- Kästner, Erich; Victoria de Larrea (Illustrator) (1969). Lisa and Lottie. Translated by Cyrus Brooks (English ed.). New York: Knopf. OCLC 353477.
- Kästner, Erich; Walter Trier (Illustrator) (November 6, 2014). The Parent Trap. Translated by Anthea Bell (English ed.). Pushkin Press. ISBN 1-78-269055-7.
- Kästner, Erich (March 31, 2015). Lisa and Lottie. Translated by Cyrus Brooks (English ed.). Lizzie Skurnick Books. ISBN 1-93-960133-9.