Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Adventures of Vin Fiz

The Adventures of Vin Fiz

Clive Cussler
Illustrator:  Bill Farnsworth 
For ages 9 to 12
Penguin, 2006   ISBN: 978-0399244742

Life is pretty ordinary for the ten-year-old Nicefolk twins Lacey and Casey. They help their parents run their California herb farm and have the kind of life you would expect farm children to have. Then, one day a man called Sucoh Sucop arrives at the Nicefolk’s doorstep. Soon the peculiar man is helping out on the farm asking for nothing in return for his work other than room and board for himself and his donkey Mr. Periwinkle.

After two months, and when it is time for him to leave, Mr. Sucoh gives the children an extraordinary gift. In his spare time he has built them a magical machine which will turn any toy into a real life size thing. The children first try the machine out on a toy tractor and in the most amazing way that you could imagine; the tractor grows and grows until it is as big as a real tractor. In fact it is a real tractor and it makes a wonderful gift for Mr. Nicefolk to use on the farm.

Then Casey builds a model of one of the Wright Brothers’ planes, the Vin Fizz, and he uses the magic machine to make it a real flying machine. When he and Lacey set off on a cross-country adventure they quickly discover that their plane is not only life size now, but it seems to be alive as well. Soon the two children and their airborne friend are having a series of extraordinary adventures as they make the long journey from California to New York City.

Packed with colorful characters, plenty of magic, and with the kinds of adventures that we would all like to have, this book is sure to entertain young readers.