The Wonder Machine
Barry Timms and Laura Brenlla
Something of a reclusive character, Wolf is an inventor, the world’s greatest so we’re told.
One day she decides to make a machine that will be a world changer and with that in mind she consults a large nameless book wherein she finds these words, ‘The wonder machine! / The wonder machine! / A gadget like nothing that / you’ve ever seen! From mittens to music, / from cushions to cakes, / The thing you most need / is the thing that it makes!’
Her search for the components required to construct such a marvel take her for the first time ever, away from her home and across onto the mainland.
Once there, she encounters, and helps in turn Squirrel,
Owl and a family of foxes. For each kind deed she receives a gift of thanks. First a garden rake, then a fishing reel and finally, a silver spoon: the very items she needs to complete her Wonder Machine.
Back at home she sets to work next morning, toiling all day until her creation is ready. Although from it there comes wonderful music, Wolf doesn’t feel the satisfaction she’d eagerly anticipated. But then as she sits downheartedly
there comes a realisation and a wonderful surprise …
All of which shows that stepping outside your comfort zone, paying it forward and sharing your talent are enormously rewarding.
Barry Timms’ tipping, tapping text flows along nicely sweeping readers along with it, eager to find out everything about Wolf’s invention, while on the way they’ll enjoy her exchanges with the other characters and empathise with her highs and lows as the story builds to its satisfying musical finale. All this is appealingly shown in Laura Brenlla’s rural scenes with their peepholes, flaps and foldouts.