The Templeton Twins Have an Idea (Templeton Twins, book one)
By Ellis Weiner, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
Published 2012 by Chronicle Books
The Templeton Twins are a bit unusual. They have interests that are uncommon for children their age. Their father is a brilliant, though absent-minded, inventor. When the twins are kidnapped by another set of twins (this set being dastardly), will their unusual interests and father's brilliance help them escape?
So, the funny story here is that I read this one last fall because I picked up an ARC of the sequel. I checked out the first one from the library and sped through it, so I could read the sequel before its pub date. As things go, I still haven't read the sequel.
However, not particularly relevant to our review. What of the book itself? For me, this is very much in the vein of A Series of Unfortunate Events, though this book never quite reaches the brilliance of that series. I quite like books in this style - intrusive narrator, wry sense of humor, melodrama, and ridiculous plot contrivances. As I said, though, this one doesn't exactly reach the genius of Snicket's series. In its own right, though, I found the Templeton twins to be rather enjoyable. The twins themselves are interesting, as is their father, and I liked the family dynamic portrayed here. The illustrations are not truly necessary to the enjoyment of the story, but they do add a little something extra that I appreciated. The plot is patently ridiculous, but I think it's meant to be. And the narrative style is still one that we don't see terribly often.
Overall, this is going to be a book for a very specific kind of kid - not everyone will find it amusing and certainly many people will just get annoyed with the narrator. But, for that specific kind of kid, this book will be right up their alley.