- ISBN-13: 9780811866798
- ISBN-10: 0811866793
- Publisher: Chronicle Books (CA)
- Publish Date: August 2012
- Page Count: 227
- Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Series: Templeton Twins #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-07-16
- Reviewer: Staff
This series kickoff takes a while to get going, and not just because it has three prologues and two Chapter Twos. Although 12-year-old twins Abigail and John Templeton headline the story, the most prominent character is the self-satisfied and aggressively intrusive Narrator, whose banter with readers instantly sets a comedic, sarcastic tone (“If you are so terribly, terribly smart, why don’t you write this book? Just fill it in right here”) but also contributes to a slow start. The story, which revolves around (of all things) intellectual property and picks up a third of the way in, follows the twins and their widowed inventor/professor father as he starts a job at the Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology (aka Tick-Tock Tech) and has a run-in with a disgruntled former student. Weiner has an obvious fondness for wordplay (characters include Nanny Nan Noonan and the villainous Dean D. Dean), and he’s at his funniest with the nonsensical “Questions for Review” that end each chapter (“How would the Templeton twins’ lives have been different had they never been born?”). Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9–13. Agent: Paul Bresnick, Paul Bresnick Agency. (Sept.)
Eureka! A funny book for clever kids
Hey! Hey you! Yeah, you right there, reading this review. Don’t you think it’s excellent that I’m writing a review of The Templeton Twins Have an Idea? Of course it’s excellent—otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. What’s not to like about genius twins, their clever-yet-flighty father and the evil twins who kidnap them: Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean? Nothing—that’s what. Now do yourself a favor and pick up this book!
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is the first book in a new series written by Ellis Weiner and brilliantly illustrated by Jeremy Holmes. It features an ever-present narrator who talks to the reader, interjects comments and generally makes a hilarious nuisance of himself. However, his presence is also what makes this story so much fun to read. Professor Elton Templeton is the famous inventor of such products as the Adjust-O-Matic Diving Board and the Battery-Operated Toothpick. His children—Abigail, who loves to solve cryptic crossword puzzles, and John, who practices every day on his drum set—can work together to solve almost any problem. However, their latest problem may be more than they can handle when they are kidnapped by Dean D. Dean, a former student of Professor Templeton’s, as revenge for (supposedly) stealing Dean’s idea for a Personal One-Man Helicopter.
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is hilarious, full of adventure and suspense, and completely original. The narrator provides insight, witty (and sarcastic) commentary and ridiculous statements, including review questions at the end of each chapter, such as “How would the Templeton twins’ lives have been different had they never been born?” Reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, this is a promising start to an excellent new series.