Meet the Tweedles: Papa, Mama, daughter Frances and her brother, Francis. It’s the dawn of a new century—the twentieth century! — and the Tweedles have decided to buy a car. But no gas guzzler for this modern family. Only an electric car will do for them.
Frances is the only member of her eccentric family who is not delighted when Papa decides they need an electric car. She would rather read a book. Frances knows that cars go fast, which can only lead to trouble. She is even less impressed when the family takes possession of the car and faces ridicule from more conventional citizens with their noisy, dirty, gas-fueled machines. But when Mr. Hamm is unable to get to the hospital because his car has run out of gas, Frances saves the day — and falls in love with automobile travel at the same time.
With humorous allusions to the twenty-first century — which is better? Gas or electric? — The Tweedles Go Electric is a charming picture book about an odd and endearing family and their attempts to keep up with the times.
Monica Kulling is the author of over fifty books for children, including Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children, illustrated by Julianna Swaney, and On Our Way to Oyster Bay: Mother Jones and Her March for Children’s Rights, illustrated by Felicita Sala. She has also written the popular Great Idea series, and her work has been nominated for many awards, including numerous Silver Birch Express and Golden Oak awards. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto.
Marie Lafrance has illustrated for magazines, newspapers, billboards and boxes of jelly powder, but now she prefers to use her warm and engaging artwork to bring picture books to life. Marie lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her husband, her daughter plus a dog and a cat.
This charming portrayal of the eccentric, unselfconscious Tweedles winks at its audience through both its sly text and playful pictures, where Lafrance’s graphite and mixed-media drawings in a fitting palette of greens and yellows capture the family’s quaint but rapidly expanding world.
The Tweedles Go Electric is an entertaining and engaging trip to the past that will fuel young readers’ thoughts on eco-transportation today.
Kulling tells a jaunty and enthusiastic story that’s helped along by Lafrance’s loopy illustrations in warm earth tones and stylized figures.
[A] charming story about the early twentieth century advent of a technology that would change the world.
Even the youngest reader (or listener) is bound to get the tongue-in-cheek humour.
[F]illed with playful language, quirky humor, and contemporary allusions. . . . The graphite-on-paper and mixed-media-collage illustrations are dynamic and engaging and provide a fun look at life at the turn of the 20th century.
Kulling . . . uses a deadpan narrative to playfully allude to 21st-century 'green' technology while introducing an idiosyncratic family that would be right at home in a Wes Anderson movie.
A fine joke, well-delivered, and as clever as it is timely.