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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Just write for kids

The Time Riders are back for a third adventure; trapeze artists swing from Moochchander’s magnificent moustache; and a young samurai has to go on a treasure hunt. A look at children’s books

Written by Sharon Fernandes |
April 30, 2011 2:53:38 am

The Time Riders — Liam O’Connor,Maddy Carter and Sal Vikram – are back together,for a third adventure. In Time Riders: The Doomsday Code (Puffin,Rs 299),these three,who were picked just before their deaths to be part of an unnamed agency that keeps watch over time travel,go to the medieval times,to year 1194. They have to find out how a British computer hacker from 1994 managed to encrypt his name in an ancient coded manuscript found in Sherwood Forest in England. And this was when Robin Hood was around. For the difficult-to-please young adults,there is some sharp writing by Alex Scarrow. For those who seek adrenaline between the lines,there are time port holes,myths and the agency’s mysterious office located in the New York of 2001.

The fun doesn’t stop in Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s The Amazing Moustaches of Moochhander the Iron Man and other Stories (Puffin,Rs 125). There is a giant with a bakery stocked with sacks of flour and pails of milk and cream. Then there is a cheat of a monkey who steals a bride from her own wedding. Add to that a plump piglet who solves the case of other missing piglets with the help of “grabbityscope”. The best though is saved for the last: the amazing moustaches of Moochhander The Iron Man that twirl and twitch and on which trapeze artists swing. The illustrations are soft and detailed: the giant baker’s muffins and croissants rise high next to the tiny villagers,Moochhander’s moustaches are shaped like a peacock or a pair of fish. The piglets are all round and chubby,with cute,twirly tails. A fun read-out-loud book for children below 7 years,though anyone who loves “a fantastic adventure in a strange land” will find a lot in here.

The last we heard of Jack Fletcher,the 15-year-old young samurai was in ninja territory. Before Fletcher can make it to the port of Nagasaki to find a ship to England,he is struck unconscious and the “rutter”,a logbook to navigate the world’s oceans,which was his father’s most prized possession,is missing. This is the beginning of a new series,The Ring of Water (Puffin,Rs 299). Fletcher wakes up in a barn wearing a ragged kimono and unable to recall how exactly he got there and how he lost all the valuables. Does he manage to find his precious swords,his friend Akiko’s black pearl,his father’s rutter?

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