cover image The Tweedles Go Electric

The Tweedles Go Electric

Monica Kulling, illus. by Marie Lafrance. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55498-167-0

The Tweedles%E2%80%94Mama, Papa, Frances, and Francis%E2%80%94are one of the last families in their early 20th-century town to buy a car: %E2%80%9CWhen the Tweedles need to go a distance, Papa hitches their horse, Mercury, to a cart. That's when they really travel at a clip." Finally, charmingly oblivious, mustachioed Papa elects to buy an electric car, instead of a rattling gas vehicle, which elicits contempt from other drivers (%E2%80%9CGet a real car!"). Despite naysaying neighbors, the car proves as efficient as it is uncommon%E2%80%94and reliable in a pinch. Lafrance's (A Hen for Izzy Pippik) stylized illustrations allow each Tweedle to shine. When Mama learns about getting a car, she kicks up her bell-shaped gown to dance a jig; black sheep Frances is unimpressed and continues reading. Kulling (Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity) uses a deadpan narrative to playfully allude to 21st-century %E2%80%9Cgreen" technology while introducing an idiosyncratic family that would be right at home in a Wes Anderson movie. The morning after acquiring the car, Papa happily bikes to work. %E2%80%9CI need time to get used to owning a car," he says. Years later, he's still biking. Ages 4%E2%80%937. (Mar.)