The Templeton Twins Have An Idea
Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
Written by Ellis Weiner, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
Synopsis from Raincoast Books:
Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let’s say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins – adults – named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, I said kidnapped. Wouldn’t it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Luckily for you, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn’t?!).
With a diet of Lemony Snicket and Edger and Ellen books, it’s no wonder my kids enjoy darker, sarcastic stories like The Templeton Twins Have an Idea. Told by a flippant narrator, we’re taken on an adventure involving greed, kidnapping, puzzle solving, and inventions. The story was fun and the kids loved how clever the twins were at working together to solve problems and create contraptions. My oldest is now interested in solving cryptic crosswords after seeing how they work within the story. I think my kids would agree that the best part of the story was the narrator. His sarcastic tone was fun and the Questions for Review at the end of each chapter always had them laughing.
Although the story does have a number of adult characters within it, such as their dad and nanny and the evil Dean brothers, the main characters are the twins. While reading the story I know my kids were imagining themselves in similar situations, figuring out their own inventions and plans. The twins solved their problems and came up with their own solutions and ideas, and that’s what makes it such a great read for kids. Afterward my son started creating invention sketches and I’m sure it was influenced by The Templeton Twins Have An Idea. We’re already looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it’s released.
I have to thank Raincoast Books for my review copy.