TIME TRAVELER by Angela Bull


Children Through Time
Age Range: 7 - 10
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paper 0-7894-4762-2 A conversation between a teacher with a new CD-ROM and two of his students form the basis for this entry in the Eyewitness Readers series, which attempts to deliver a history-can-be-fun message. The mismatched blend of fiction and nonfiction begins with a negative premise--Sophie and Jake are asked by their teacher to test some new software when they fail to meet the requirements of their history homework. A bug-eyed cartoon creature, Whirligig, zooms them to various periods of time at the click of a button. Keywords prompt the computer, e.g., “sports” takes them to ancient Rome for a chariot race, “exploring” lands them among the Vikings, and “chocolate” finds them in wartime England during the second World War. The assortment of time periods are as random as an Internet search, with the Italian Renaissance giving way to a chapter on the California gold rush. Each time-travel episode contains an awkward blend of historical background and a story-within-a-story, using characters such as Isabella and Giovanni who meet an artist with drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. Despite a brief glossary, independent readers may stumble over stilted dialogue and difficult terms, names, and places, and aside from a lesson in how a computer retrieves information, the browser-like, faux-computer approach doesn’t translate well to the page. Those who want to point-and-click may prefer to stick to a screen. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7894-4763-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: DK Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999