Author: Max Evan and Maria Evan
Publisher: Self Published
Source: A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is about the adventures of the boy named Christopher, the girl named Sophia and retriever Duke. By chance they found themselves in a balloon, that took them into a fairyland, where mysterious events happen. Children wanted to find the way home. The heroeshad to solve a lot of mysteries.They learned interesting ways of time measuring and found a time machine. (Source: Goodreads)
Christopher runs away to see the circus, and there he meets Sophie and a magical dog named Duke. When the three new friends wind up swept away by the wind in a hot air balloon they find themselves in a magical land where time is broken. The trio decide to save the kingdom.
Unfortunately, that plot description is a little optimistic. This book doesn’t really have strong cause and effect threads, mostly stuff just happens. The book had a cute idea, but it was poorly explained, leaned heavily on tropes of the genre, and forced you to fill in the blanks. The book was illustrated but sparsely. The language used is a little above the target demographic as well, and tries too hard to shoehorn in educational information.
The plot thread of this book is incredibly loose, there isn’t much motivating the action, and the characters often make wild leaps of logic. This leads to a plot that’s hard to follow and kind of messy. The idea of going to a land where time is broken is interesting, but I don’t really think Evan delves into that at any point in this book. Instead we follow 3 friends who hear a prophecy that never tells them they’re meant to save the kingdom – it tells them to go home. But(!) the trope of this genre tells us they should save the kingdom so…the trio assumes they are meant to. Based on nothing else. This sort of logic follows throughout the rest of the book. It was just frustrating to read.
The book also uses a lot of language well above the target demographic’s level. The kids in this book speak in a manner totally beyond that of children. They are also incredibly knowledgeable about numerous topics like clocks and hot air balloons. This is used to shoehorn in educational information that really tended to detract from the already loose plot.
There are illustrations throughout the book, but they’re incredibly sparse. I think there needed to be more illustrations and the language should have been dialed back a bit to make the whole story feel a little more age appropriate.
It was a cute enough idea but I just wouldn’t reach for this book to share with a child. I don’t think they’d understand it.