Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Otherworldly Adventures of Tyler Washburn: The New Kid

The Otherworldly Adventures of Tyler Washburn: The New Kid

Dylan Cole
Picture Book
For ages 7 to 10
Design Studio Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-1933492773

Tyler likes to invent things and he is not at all discouraged when most of his inventions don’t work. One of his successful inventions allows him to spy on his sister and all is going well until she finds out what he is doing. On that day he gets in trouble at home with his sister, and at school when he causes an explosion, and then at home he gets in trouble again when one of his inventions causes a big mess.

   The next day he is testing out a new invention in school when he notices that a “creepy blue glow” is coming from the janitor’s closet. When he steps in everything is normal at first. Then he touches something and the closet turns into a kind of elevator that transports him to an amazing place underground where his principal is waiting for him. Apparently she is working on a secret program and she thinks he, Tyler, is the perfect person to participate in the program because he is always “trying something different.” Principal Morgan wants Tyler to cross the galaxy using a portal, and he takes her up on her offer.

   On the other side of the portal he finds himself at the STAR (The Society for Technologically Advanced Races) Academy, which was “founded to promote intergalactic peace.” Tyler is the only human in the class. Everyone else is an alien.

   On his first day Tyler has a great time learning his way around the academy and getting to know the other students. That evening he is back on Earth, eating dinner with his family, knowing that tomorrow he is going to be back in school learning about things and seeing things that astonish him. He may even get the chance to invent something that actually works.

   Readers who dream of going out into space to meet aliens are going to love this book with its wonderfully rich artwork and its colorful characters.