Tom’s Magnificent Machines
Linda Sarah and Ben Mantle
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
This is a totally awesome picture book that celebrates the very special relationship between young Tom and his father. It also celebrates their inventiveness and resilience in the face of difficulties.
We first meet the two as they zip around their lakeside home with dad pulling his son in a small, simple vehicle they’ve fashioned from bits and pieces.
Gradually however their inventiveness escalates and their home becomes chock full of weird and wonderful whizzy, whirry, hovering machines: life is peachy.
Then unexpectedly, Dad loses his job and with it, so Tom thinks, his smile and his propensity for inventiveness.
Gloom descends and the old machines lie forgotten. Then comes even worse news: they can’t afford to keep their home. Tom is devastated. Taking his trolley-bike he sets off to do some thinking.
Suddenly he has an enormous, hope-filled idea. Back home Dad appears relatively uninterested but finally Tom gets his message across and Dad smiles for the first time in many days.
A great deal of creating, testing, fixing and more ensue until beyond anything anyone could have imagined, they’re ready to open ‘The Museum of Vehicles Made From Things Not Usually Used For Making Vehicles.’
Visitors pour in, and wonder and laughter fill their establishment. Life is once again peachy as Dad says they can stay in their home.
Life does sometimes have a way of throwing disasters in the way of some unlucky people, and so it is for Tom and his Dad.
One night a whirlwind destroys their dream house, scattering its contents and leaving just rubble.
Despite his ‘badly-hidden sad’ Dad however mentions rebuilding;
Tom has other ideas. Off he goes once again on his bike; and returns with a brilliant new suggestion. It’s pure genius and one that will work no matter what the elements throw their way.
Linda Sarah has such an amazing way with words; her story is sheer delight to read aloud: coupled with Ben Mantle’s stupendous scenes of the highs and lows of life as shared by Tom and his dad, the result is a terrific book to share, and share and …