The Time Machine Next Door: Explorers and Milkshakes and The Time Machine Next Door: Scientists and Stripy Socks

The Time Machine Next Door: Explorers and Milkshakes
The Time Machine Next Door: Scientists and Stripy Socks

Iszi Lawrence, illustrated by Rebecca Bagley
Bloomsbury Education

These are the first of a new series of historical adventures for younger primary readers.
Explorers and Milkshakes begins with the announcement that Sunil is in BIG trouble. We soon find out that while at home alone he’s accidentally broken a prized gramophone record of his grandfather’s and needs to fix it at top speed before his parents discover what has happened.

It just so happens that next door lives the eccentric Alex, owner and inventor of a time machine: could this Boring Machine or BM as she calls it, provide a highly unusual solution to the boy’s problem?

Before you can say ‘belly button’ Sunil finds himself on a hair-raising trip during which he encounters the likes of famous astronaut Neil Armstrong, and then visiting Antarctica and meeting Ernest Shackleton and some of his fellow explorers (plus a cat) stranded as they head for the South Pole. BRRR!

All of this happens while Sunil is trying his utmost to steer clear of the strange Mr Shaykes and kiwi companion.

In Scientists and Stripy Socks, Mr Shaykes announces that his Interesting Machine is in need of repair and if Alex doesn’t fix it for him, the milkshake cafe will ‘go bust’. But then his mention of Charles Darwin arouses Sunil’s interest and off he sets on another time-travelling caper. He learns a considerable amount about earthworms thanks to Charles, as he asks Sunil to call him when they take tea together.

He also temporarily loses his toe when he meets physicist Isaac Newton; in fact he briefly loses several body parts in this adventure. The final part of this book includes a discussion with astronomer Caroline Herschel; but with Alex’s time machine increasingly unpredictable, will our intrepid adventurer get back before Sunil’s mum and dad come home?

Giggles aplenty await when you read these two wacky stories as well as a considerable amount of information. Iszi Lawrence offers an unusual and very entertaining way to introduce readers to famous people from history. Adding to the fun are Rebecca Bagley’s black and white illustrations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.