Monday, February 9, 2009

A Mighty Fine Time Machine

Bloom, Suzanne. 2009. A Mighty Fine Time Machine. Boyds Mill Press. March 2009.

Meet Samantha the anteater, Grant the aardvark, and Antoine the armadillo. These three star in Suzanne Bloom's latest picture book A Mighty Fine Time Machine. Can three friends make the impossible happen? Can they turn a seemingly ordinary box into a time machine? They can sure try! But Samantha's determination along with her keen insights make this one a fun read.

In what will probably be a rare occurrence, A Mighty Fine Time Machine had me at hello. Here's how it starts off,

"Boys," said Sam, "you've been bamboozled."
Grant and Antoine did not know what to say. They had just traded twenty Yummy Gummys and a bag of Buggy Bonbons for a time machine.

I love the language. It is so expressive. So intelligent. I'm not sure intelligent is the right word. Is there a word that means clever but that also means really, really fun? The language and style has a rhythm to it. It just makes for a fun read-aloud because the words--the sounds--are so fun to say.

For example,

They plotted and planned. They mixed and matched.
They stood back and admired their work.
It was a mighty fine time machine, and it was ready to launch.

Grant set the dials to another time and place. Sam counted backward. Antoine made blast-off noises. Flippers flapped. Wings whapped. Nothing happened.

"We're still here," said Grant.
"It's still now," said Antoine.
"Maybe we've miscalculated," said Sam.
"Maybe it's not a rockety kind of time machine."
"It's rickety," said Grant.
"It's rackety," said Antoine.
But definitely not rockety, they all agreed.
"Back to work, boys."

I just loved this one cover to cover. The language. The style. The characters. The premise. And the magical ending. Not that I'll ever tell you if this group succeeds on their mission!

Definitely recommended!

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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