Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Time Traveller's Journal

Time Traveller's Journal

Ruth Redford
Illustrator:  Greg Becker 
Paper Engineer: Ania Mocklinska
Novelty Book
For ages 8 to 12
Random House UK, 2008   ISBN: 978-0091799045

Prospero Hermes has built a time machine. Every time he goes on a journey he writes down his observations in a journal. He begins by showing his readers what his time machine looks like. He also includes a map, a picture of his "orbitor" – which tells him where he is and what the date is – and his last will and testament.

Prospero's first journey was to go back to the Cretaceous era, sixty-five million years ago. In no time at all Prospero became an adept dinosaur watcher, and he even managed to procure, at great risk to himself, a piece of dinosaur skin.

Some time later the time traveller went back to 1402 AD. Prospero found his trip to the Italian Renaissance to be "one of the most amazing journeys I undertook" because he was able to see the work of such people as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci when everything was new and exciting. In fact, Prospero came away with copies of many of Leonardo's drawings. The originals for the drawings have since vanished so Prospero's copies are priceless.

One April the 9, in 1771, Prospero ended up on Captain Cook's ship. Though Cook's expedition was on its way home, Prospero was still able to see and learn a lot. He saw a picture of the Easter Island statues, parrots, and he even managed to come home with a page from the Chief Officer's logbook.

With pop-ups, mini notebooks, envelopes to open, maps, newspaper clippings, and wonderful illustrations throughout, this fabulous novelty title will both entertain and enlighten readers about the past and the possible future. The author manages to pack in a lot of information in a highly palatable and enjoyable format, and readers can dip into the book at random, enjoying the adventures of this Edwardian explorer in any order that they choose.