Earlier yesterday evening, I realized that I would not have time to finish the 400 odd page book that was intended to be this week's Timeslip Tuesday book. The line at the post office had just not been long enough (only 35 pages read). So I fell back on a book that I've been holding in reserve for just such an occasion-- Knights of the Kitchen Table (the first book of the Time Warp Trio series), by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith.
Ten minutes after making this decision I'd read the book; the remarkable fact is that this included locating the book. Happily I'd been trying to get my 7 year old to read it just last week; vexingly, he had refused, but at least I knew where it was. And now, having read it myself, I am even more vexed at his refusal. Because (although not one I'll be recommending to my adult readers for their own enjoyment--too short) this is a lovely book for the seven year old boy.
There is Adventure! Three boys travel back to the time of King Arthur with the help of a magical book. They defeat the Black Knight. Solve the nasty problem of the giant and the dragon. Try, and fail, to teach the youth of the Dark Ages to play baseball. Can't help but notice the little personal hygiene issues of those around them. All good fun, written in crisply simple sentences, enlivened by Smith's humorous drawings.
Timeslip-wise--this is one where the differences of clothes and speech are noticed by the "contemps." And I think this is as it should be in a book for this age; it makes sense. Education-wise--well, I guess it's good to have familiarity with Arthur, Merlin, et al., but this isn't one that paints an accurate picture of Dark Age Britain. Although it does address the issue of armour being really, really, heavy, which is a useful thing to know.
Although I won't be seeking out the rest of the series for myself, I'll try again to get my 7 year old to read this one. He should enjoy it. And if the force of his will proves stronger than the force of mine, it's his loss. And if he liked it...there are fifteen more books in the series...
(although now he has the first four Harry Potter books under his belt, it might be a lost cause....)