Children's Book of the Month July

Tilly and the Time Machine by Adrian Edmondson (Penguin) £6.99. Aged 7 plus

We seem to be awash with celebrities and particularly comedians writing children’s books- David Walliams, Julian Clary, David Baddiel and Sandi Toksvig to name a few. I often think, well, they have a job. Why not give genuine writers a chance to break through? But then I read Tilly and the Time Machine and I felt bad. This is a great read, with gentle and subtle humour, which the author has clearly put a great deal of love and care into. He writes wonderfully for children. Tilly is seven and a half- and about to make history. When Tilly’s dad builds a time machine in the shed there’s only one place she really wants to go: back to her sixth birthday party, when she ate too many cupcakes and her mummy was still here.  But then something goes wrong! Tilly’s dad gets stuck in the past and only she can save him… Will they make it back in time for tea? Tilly is a resourceful, practical girl who navigates famous history like the Battle of Trafalgar and a tricky Queen Victoria to find her father and bring him home. Edmondson has a great voice in describing how children think about death and captures a seven and a half year old’s world splendidly. The gags are not in your face like his comedy, but understated and subtle. A great summer read.

This is one of the best books that I have ever read. The main character, Tilly, is having a tricky time and it’s moving but also funny at times. I am not quite finished, but I don’t want to put it down so it won’t be long before I am. Then I will just have to read it again!
Alex, aged 9.