Mr. Tweedle springs for a new car in this impish tale. After all, it is a new century: the 20th.
Unimpressed by the dust, noise and smoke of gas- and steam-driven automobiles, Papa Tweedle opts for a newfangled electric surrey, in green, as his family’s first car. Tootling around town, the Tweedles respond to the sneers of passing motorists with happy shouts: “We’re electric!” “We’re green!” “We’re smart!” Smart they are, as it turns out—for when scoffing neighbor Mr. Hamm accidently lops off his finger one day and discovers his own car has run out of gas, it’s bookish, 12-year-old Frances Tweedle who drives him to the doctor’s (and later drives that same electric car all the way across the country). Though Lafrance outfits her figures in period dress and decks out street scenes with antique cars and bicycles, plus an occasional horse-drawn cart, modern readers will have no trouble at all making the connection with this century’s version of the issue. Not to mention the benefits of being both green and smart.
A fine joke, well-delivered, and as clever as it is timely. (Picture book. 6-8)