Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: The Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table, by Jon Scieszka (illustrated by Lane Smith) (Viking Penguin, 1991)

Recommended for ages 8-12

Knights of the Round Table is the first book in the hugely popular Time Warp Trio series, by Caldecott award-winning author Jon Scieszka. Knights introduces us to Joe Arthur and his friends Sam and Fred. Joe, an amateur magician, receives a magical book (later known as The Book), from his magician uncle, Joe the Magnificent, for his ninth birthday. The Book has magical powers that Joe the Magnificent was unable to unlock, but Joe and his friends manage to transport through time, ending up in King Arthur's Camelot, where they save the land from a fire-breathing dragon and a damsel-eating giant.

The successful author-illustrator teamwork between Scieszka and Lane Smith is here, and Smith's black and white drawings bring the characters hilarioiusly alive throughout the book. Jon Scieszka's fast-paced dialogue will keep the attention of boys and girls alike. Scieszka's Time Warp Trio books inspired the animated series on Discovery Kids Network and has spawned an additional book series based on the show. His initiative, Guys Read, is committed to increasing literacy and the love of books in boys. There are 16 books in the original Time Warp Trio series, all running between 50-75 pages - a great length for a resistant reader or a reader interested in a fun, short story.

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