Saturday, June 15, 2019

Review - The Trouble with Time Travel

The Trouble with Time Travel
by Stephen W. Martin
illustrated by Cornelia Li
Date: 2019
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Max and her dog, Boomer, are in trouble. Big trouble. Max has accidentally smashed an heirloom vase: the only treasure her great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma managed to save when her houseboat sank 234 years ago. Max can come clean—or, she can build a time machine! If she travels to the past and smashes the vase then, there will be nothing for her to break in the future. Brilliant!

In the time machine—surprisingly easy to construct—Max and Boomer bump around to the past and the future, tangle the string of time, and crash into the ancestral houseboat, promptly sinking it. And in the past, the vase remains intact. Disheartened, Max and Boomer return to the moment just before their adventure began, to warn themselves NOT to build a time machine. Duly warned, Max tosses a Frisbee for Boomer, directly in the direction of the vase…

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Don't read the synopsis if you don't want to be spoiled! It basically gives the whole plot away.

This is actually a pretty fun book about time travel for kids. Max and her dog accidentally break an heirloom vase. Rather than come clean about it, Max decides that it'll be easier to build a time machine. (The story does rather expect you to suspend disbelief.) So Max and her dog have a few adventures before finally arriving at the right time and place... only to have everything go wrong.

I'm not sure how a kid smart enough to build a time machine can't see the obvious solution to her problem (i.e., go back in time and tell herself not to throw that Frisbee), but you kind of just have to go with it. I enjoyed the story otherwise.

The illustrations really bring this one to life. Cornelia Li's cartoonish pictures are colourful, detailed, and appealing.

This is a pretty fun picture book that highlights some of the perils of time travel. If naughty kids ever figure out how to build their own time machines... we're all going to be in trouble.

Thank you to NetGalley and Owlkids Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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