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Children's Fiction Cars & Trucks

The Tweedles Go Electric

by (author) Monica Kulling

illustrated by Marie Lafrance

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Cars & Trucks, City & Town Life, General
Recommended Age
4 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
Recommended Reading age
4 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


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.

About the authors

Monica Kulling is the author of over forty books for children, including the popular Great Idea series, stories of inventors. The third book in the series, In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up, was nominated for the 2012 Governor General’s Award for illustration and chosen as the 2012 Simon Wiesenthal Honor Book. In addition, Monica’s work has been nominated for numerous Silver Birch Express and Golden Oak awards. Her recent picture books include Lumpito and the Painter from Spain and Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her at

Monica Kulling's profile page


Marie Lafrance est née à Québec. Après des études en graphisme et un long séjour aux États-Unis, elle décide de se consacrer à l'illustration. Ses œuvres lui ont valu des nominations au prix du Gouverneur général et elle a remporté le Prix Ruth et Sylvia Schwartz de littérature jeunesse pour le livre Une poule pour Izzy Pippik qu'elle a illustré. Marie vit à Montréal.


MARIE LAFRANCE has spent her whole life drawing pictures, at first to keep from biting her nails, then for magazines, newspapers, posters, billboards and board games. Now she illustrates picture books, including The Lady with the Books, Oscar Lives Next Door, and Bunny the Brave War Horse. Her book A Hen for Izzy Pippik won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award. Marie lives in Montreal, Quebec.


Marie Lafrance's profile page


  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award

Editorial Reviews

Even the youngest reader (or listener) is bound to get the tongue-in-cheek humour.

Montreal Gazette

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.

CM Magazine

The Tweedles Go Electric is an entertaining and engaging trip to the past that will fuel young readers’ thoughts on eco-transportation today.

Quill & Quire

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.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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.

Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

A fine joke, well-delivered, and as clever as it is timely.


[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.

School Library Journal

Other titles by Monica Kulling

Other titles by Marie Lafrance

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