The Secret Time Machine and the Gherkin Switcheroo

Candlewick. Jul. 2020. 192p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781536207408.
Gr 2-4–Marcus and Laurence, a worm and a bird, go on another action-packed adventure in this companion to They Didn’t Teach THIS in Worm School!. Marcus and Laurence are adjusting nicely to living together, until Marcus becomes frustrated with Laurence, who no longer wants to go outside. Laurence is preoccupied with doing crossword puzzles, eating, and not bathing. Marcus invents the ingenious story that his aunt has a time-travel machine in order to get Laurence outside. Marcus meets Vera, a bird who is willing to create a fake time machine which supposedly transports them to a medieval world. What follows is a somewhat goofy, nonsensical adventure where the whole animal kingdom dresses up to pretend they are from the past. Marcus and Laurence meet up with a mole who is a bully, and they both have to outsmart him to escape. In the end, Laurence knows he is not in the future; he forgives Marcus, but admits that he had fun and is glad Marcus got him out of the house.
VERDICT Young readers will enjoy this sweet, silly comedy. A great addition to any chapter book collection.

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