cover image The Templeton Twins Have an Idea

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea

Ellis Weiner, illus. by Jeremy Holmes. Chronicle, $16.99 (232p) ISBN 978-0-8118-6679-8

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.)