Parsifal Rides the Time Wave, by Nell Chenault, for Timeslip Tuesday

Parsifal Rides the Time Wave, by Nell Chenault (1962, Little Brown), is a rather charming time travel book for young readers, 6-9 ish. And even though it is short (with only 85 pages of large text, I read it in 20 minutes), I enjoyed it!

Parsifal is a Poddley, a magical creature who travels to world helping children in need. He's so good at the job he's part of the Poddley Emergency Squad, who take on the toughest cases. And when he arrives at a hospital to see a boy making no effort to get well again, he knows he'll have to be on top of his magical game. And so he un-invisibles himself, and starts to get the bottom of Colin's troubles.

It's a sad story. Colin chased a ball into the street, and didn't see the truck coming. His old collie, Lad, his best friend forever, found the strength to force his old bones to run, and knocked Colin mostly out of harms way. Colin ended up in the hospital, with no reason not to make a full recovery, but Lad was killed. And now Colin is sunk in a pit of self-blame and sadness, and refuses to eat or try to get better.

So Parsifal sets to work to rekindle Colin's interest in life. And what better way to do that than to time travel to medieval Scotland, to meet Robert the Bruce!

Parsifal, being magical, makes time travel easy--Colin arrives appropriately clad and speaking Gaelic. And he saves Robert the Bruce from a treacherous attack, with the help of Robert's own dog, Ban. And sadly, like Lad, Ban is killed saving his master. To thank Colin, Robert gives him as special gift--Ban's son, a lovable puppy.

The puppy can't travel through time, but when Colin gets home he finds his parents have gotten him a puppy just like little Ban Jr. And he is happy again.

It's a sweet and pleasant story despite the sadness of dog death. The time travel is fun and exciting, and although I worried that I might find the whole Poddley thing too twee to stomach, I was perfectly fine with it. Though it's an old book it's not particularly dated in feel, and I'd happily give it to an early chapter book reader who loves both dogs and all things medieval.

Thanks Sherry, at Semicolon, for reviewing the book and putting it on my radar! And thanks, fate, for leading me to a used bookstore in Maine where I found a cheap copy!

1 comment:

  1. I love that cover. When I saw it, I was sure it was an old book. It's too pretty for now. It sounds like a sweet little story. Thanks for telling me about it.


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