Review: The Templeton Twins Have An Idea by Jeremy Holmes

Friday, June 8, 2012
Author: Ellis Weiner
Illustrator: Jeremy Holmes
Genre: middle grade, mystery
Series: The Templeton Twins #1
Pages: 236 (Nook ARC edition)
Published: April 1 2012
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

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?!).

A quick read and one sure to be enjoyed by its target audience, The Templeton Twins Have An Idea is a fun-filled, goofy and cheeky adventure where children ultimately get to save the day and themselves. John and Abigail are dynamic middle-grade protagonists: feisty, smart and capable. With an involved and fourth-wall-breaking narrator, their Ridiculous Dog and their own wits, the two twins partake in an escapade that gives the reader ample opportunities to laugh, solve puzzles or even jot down a new recipe for meatloaf.   The first in a forthcoming series, this breezy lighthearted children's romp is inventive, interactive and an original ride.

A silly tone from the outset gets things going and author Ellis Weiner clearly used his imagination to make this as engaging for younger children as it could be. A little bit of wit, a little bit of snark and a lot of character help to make The Templeton Twins one novel not to be missed for those looking for a slightly interactive and fully original novel for their kids to enjoy. The tongue-in-cheek tone allows for amusement across the board as a 20-something reader I wasn't above the good-cheer influence of this cheeky and fun novel. Illustrator Jeremy Holmes art (and sketches for the ARC) catch the mood of the middle-grade novel perfectly: a little odd, very distinct and wholly eye-catching, his work definitely adds an extra element of personality to The Templeton Twins Have An Idea.

Simple and easy, this is the perfect fit for its genre. A little bit of mystery and childish ingenuity can go far as the author/illustrator pair behind this can attest. Antagonists Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean provide humorous and likely foils for the intrepid Templeton kids and the engaging read is worth it from start to completion.

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