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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea

Author: Ellis Weiner
Illustrator: Jeremy Holmes
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Received ARC at OBS‘s 2012 meet-up

The Story

The Templeton Twins Have an IdeaFrom the inside cover of the book:

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named (respectively) 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 who enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn’t?!).

The Response

This book reminded me a lot of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Brilliant children outsmarting adults who only want to do them harm, all the while having their adventures told in a tongue-in-cheek sort of manner. People who enjoyed those books will, no doubt, enjoy this one as well.

Especially kids – I think kids would really like this. It’s entertaining and fast-paced, with two main characters who are both quite relatable and loveable. It shows how capable kids are of accomplishing anything if they think a little outside the box, all the while being a fully entertaining story.

The illustrations and book design completely shone in this. Jeremy Holmes is so completely wonderful and talented. (Don’t believe me? Look at his page on dribbble. Amazing.) This was the highlight of the book for me. They were all utterly gorgeous and completely drool-worthy. I want to pick up more books that Holmes has illustrated, and will definitely be looking out for them.

The narration of the story, unfortunately, really turned me off of the book as a whole. The humour was great at times, but at others it felt forced and rather pretentious. I know this was done on purpose, and could have come across as being awesome… but the voice of the narrator really stroked me the wrong way at times.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, other than the beautiful illustrations, this was not my cup of tea. While it had a lot going for it, the narration just wasn’t done in a way that I truly appreciated. That said though, I would still recommend for someone looking for a smart, funny book for children.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:59 am April 4, 2013.
Category: Children's
Book Author(s): ,
Publisher(s):

  • http://sassymonkeyreads.ca sassymonkey

    I have it but haven’t read it but you will totally understand what I’m about to say — whenever someone mentions this book the theme song from The Edison Twins gets STUCK IN MY HEAD.