The Time Garden

The Time GardenReading The Time Garden was just as fun and magical an experience as reading the previous books in this timeless series I don t think the plot had quite as much momentum as Half Magic and Knight s Castle, but there was still plenty of fun to be had here The use of famous historical and literary settings fully matches those of the previous books, and there is the same sense of affectionately poking fun at some of the real and fictional characters Compared to the previous three stories, The Time Garden does not disappoint it maintains the innocent humor, the relatable characters, and the warm, personable narration This is a series I almost wish I had first read as a kid, but discovering it later has been like finding buried treasure in plain sight As a young child, Edward Eager was my favorite author There was a lovely shelf of Edward Eager books in my school library, and I couldn t wait each week to pick a new one This was one of the weaker ones in the series, I thought Still I couldn t resist reading this book again when I found a copy in my Little Library this week It s the story of two sets of cousins, each set the children of one of the original four children in Half Magic, now, of course, adults They go to stay with an elderly woman by the seashore and meet a frog in a magical thyme garden The children learn they can travel through time with the thyme Clever, right It will never be my favorite Edward Eager, but I did find I enjoyed it a little better this time. This is a re read, as I was reading it out loud to my 9 year old son I dearly love Edward Eager s books, so it was a bit painful to revisit this one and discover that it was not as good as I d remembered it The characterization is great headstrong Eliza with her leadership qualities especially is a terrific prickly girl character, though her character arc wasn t half as satisfying or fully resolved as I d thought , the dialogue wryly funny, the setting well described, and the premise as magical as any of the other books in the series But a lot of the reader s enjoyment of the story will depend on their ability to recognize and appreciate American historical, cultural and literary references which was a bit tough on my Canadian kid and also their ability to ignore the casual racism toward North American Indians and other so called savages who appear in the book Mom, said my son when we read the chapter about the island, Cannibals don t just eat people randomly cause they taste good They only do it like once a year.I still get a kick out of the Natterjack, but dear heavens Edward Eager PUTTING H BEFORE EVERY VOWEL IS NOT HOW A COCKNEY ACCENT WORKS So this book is a bit tough on Anglophiles as well I used to prefer this one to its predecessor KNIGHT S CASTLE, which shares some of the same flaws as THE TIME GARDEN without quite as rich a setting and premise, but I think now my feelings may be leaning the other way around. Reading Edward Eager s books to the kids has been a lot of fun Are they great literature No but compared to much of what s published today, they re practically Shakespeare But they really capture that mid 20th century milieu, while blatantly and shamelessly giving nods to E Nesbit s books from half a century earlier After all, what is the Natterjack but Eager s own Psammead In this book, the four children fromKnight s Castleare spending the summer together by the ocean The discovery of a garden of thyme, presided over by a magical toad like creature called a Natterjack, begins a series of adventures through time, including a couple visits to American history, encounters with Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, and even trips into their own parents magical adventures Fictional worlds collide including a brief cameo by Nesbit s Phoenix and its magical flying carpet I didn t know these books existed when I was a kid But I m glad that my kids are discovering them. I don t think I d have found this any interesting as a child than I do as an adult Every time there was something there with potential, the book edged away from it The concept of the time garden had real potential, but there was so little description or sense of space or presence within it that it was barely noticeable a real shame for such a potentially lovely idea The Natterjack didn t just pay homage to Edith Nesbitt, it was a washed and wrung out version of a Nesbitt equivalent character. Four cousins find a garden that allows them to travel magically through time by sniffing thyme As in all of Eager s books, however, magic is unpredictable and often uncontrollable This is a great book to read aloud with a mixed age group because the thrills and danger are not too excessive for younger listeners, but the wit and history based humor will appeal to older kids and adults Another good thing about Eager is that his characters are realistic and interesting His girls are often brave and forthright, and the boys don t have all the fun Solid moral values but with a sense of fun and self deprecating humor. Not my favorite so far in the series, but still clever and cute We really enjoyed the time travel, and how the kids actually run into their parents years earlier on their own magic adventure. Oh dear How embarrassing Even for the Natterjack I can t bring myself to give it than 2 stars. As always, Edward Eager s writing left me feeling happy I love his style it seems so warm and personal, and The Time Garden is a delightful fantasy with lots of humor and fun Plus, it takes place in the summer so this was a good time to read it FYI there are Little Women spoilers in this book Anything Can Happen When You Have All The Time In The World Says The Frog Like Natterjack In Old Relative Mrs Whiton S Thyme Garden Cousins Roger, Ann, Eliza And Girl Crazy Jack Ride For American Rebels, Bow To Queen Elizabeth I, And Even Rescue Their Own Parents When They Were Children

Eager was born in and grew up in Toledo, Ohio and attended Harvard University, class of 1935 After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he lived for 14 years before moving to Connecticut He married Jane Eberly in 1938 and they had a son, Fritz Eager was a childhood fan of L Frank Baum s Oz series, and started writing children s books when he could not find stories he wanted to read to

❮Reading❯ ➶ The Time Garden Author Edward Eager –
  • Unknown Binding
  • 224 pages
  • The Time Garden
  • Edward Eager
  • English
  • 08 January 2019
  • 9780192751010

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