Read The Time Garden by Edward Eager N.M. Bodecker Quentin Blake Online


"Anything can happen when you have all the time in the world" says the frog-like Natterjack in old relative Mrs Whiton's thyme garden. Cousins Roger, Ann, Eliza and girl-crazy Jack ride for American rebels, bow to Queen Elizabeth I, and even rescue their own parents when they were children....

Title : The Time Garden
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780152020705
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 193 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Time Garden Reviews

  • Qt
    2019-02-02 15:12

    As always, Edward Eager's writing left me feeling happy :-) I love his style--it seems so warm and personal, and "The Time Garden" is a delightful fantasy with lots of humor and fun. Plus, it takes place in the summer so this was a good time to read it ;-)FYI: there are "Little Women" spoilers in this book :-)

  • R.J.
    2019-02-13 10:42

    This is a re-read, as I was reading it out loud to my 9-year-old son. I dearly love Edward Eager's books, so it was a bit painful to revisit this one and discover that it was not as good as I'd remembered it. The characterization is great (headstrong Eliza with her "leadership qualities" especially is a terrific prickly girl character, though her character arc wasn't half as satisfying or fully resolved as I'd thought), the dialogue wryly funny, the setting well described, and the premise as magical as any of the other books in the series. But a lot of the reader's enjoyment of the story will depend on their ability to recognize and appreciate American historical, cultural and literary references (which was a bit tough on my Canadian kid) and also their ability to ignore the casual racism toward North American Indians and other so-called "savages" who appear in the book ("Mom," said my son when we read the chapter about the island, "Cannibals don't just eat people randomly 'cause they taste good! They only do it like once a year!").I still get a kick out of the Natterjack, but dear heavens Edward Eager PUTTING 'H' BEFORE EVERY VOWEL IS NOT HOW A COCKNEY ACCENT WORKS. So this book is a bit tough on Anglophiles as well. I used to prefer this one to its predecessor KNIGHT'S CASTLE, which shares some of the same flaws as THE TIME GARDEN without quite as rich a setting and premise, but I think now my feelings may be leaning the other way around.

  • Drew
    2019-02-13 13:21

    Reading Edward Eager's books to the kids has been a lot of fun. Are they great literature? No (but compared to much of what's published today, they're practically Shakespeare). But they really capture that mid-20th-century milieu, while blatantly and shamelessly giving nods to E. Nesbit's books from half a century earlier. (After all, what is the Natterjack but Eager's own Psammead?)In this book, the four children from Knight's Castle are spending the summer together by the ocean. The discovery of a garden of thyme, presided over by a magical toad-like creature called a Natterjack, begins a series of adventures through time, including a couple visits to American history, encounters with Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, and even trips into their own parents' magical adventures. Fictional worlds collide (including a brief cameo by Nesbit's Phoenix and its magical flying carpet). I didn't know these books existed when I was a kid. But I'm glad that my kids are discovering them.

  • Andrea
    2019-02-23 16:13

    Four cousins find a garden that allows them to travel magically through time (by sniffing thyme). As in all of Eager's books, however, magic is unpredictable and often uncontrollable. This is a great book to read aloud with a mixed age group because the thrills and danger are not too excessive for younger listeners, but the wit and history based humor will appeal to older kids and adults. Another good thing about Eager is that his characters are realistic and interesting. His girls are often brave and forthright, and the boys don't have all the fun. Solid moral values but with a sense of fun and self-deprecating humor.

  • An Odd1
    2019-02-01 16:39

    "Anything can happen when you have all the time in the world" p 20 on the sundial in the thyme patch reminds me of Jane Louise Curry's Parsley Sage Rosemary and Time . The froggy Natterjack proud Cockney accent " 'ighly superior" p 24 "London bred my grandaddy's grandaddy was .. H'emigrated 'ere" p 24 'ides in a patch of thyme for visiting children. Four cousins re-unite for magic holiday while Roger's dad puts on a London play, other parents tour Europe. Reliable Roger is brother to kindly Ann. She carries Natterjack in pocket. Cousin Eliza looks angry in drawings, sure to "cross two fingers of one hand, behind her back" p 51. Jack ignores others, nearest "keen girl" p 10 inspires "glazed expression" p 8. "Old Mrs Whiton" related "by marriage" calls them in "deep gruff voice" p 12 to "plunged boldly in" p 16 brisk cold sea swims. "Tardiness will not be excused" p 17. The 3-story tall "historic old house on the South Shore near Boston" p 5 is above a cliff. The "boom of the sea" p 12 "waves were sure to wake them early" p 14 "curling whitely on the rocks below" p 15. For swims, even boys wear full shoulder length black "old-fashioned bathing dress that ought to have looked very funny but somehow .. didn't" p 16 in drawings of them all.Large noses lifted snobbishly high, "splendidly dressed" p 64 Southerners seek their three slaves, hiding in the barn for the Underground Railroad. (view spoiler)["Intrepid" p 66 Eliza claims Bono's red hanky for her own, found later in an attic trunk. The children jump forward in time to warn the slaves. Ann makes it "dinnertime when they get to Canada .. when they served free dinners to all runaway slaves" p 69.(hide spoiler)]A drawing of a teen couple in falling snow, girl with hands tucked in warm muff precedes when Old Mrs Whiton drives them to the home of Louisa Alcott, author of Little Women. (view spoiler)[Jack flirts with Meg. Jo March's Marmy sends all seven to a lazy poor family. The spoiled baby steals Ann's precious "birthstone ring with a real garnet" p 94. Eliza, "forgetting all her mother ever told her about not boasting" p 96, gets them threatened with kidnapping. Natterjack asks Ann for a whiff of golden thyme, and turns into a huge dragon. Jack calls him a "Tyrannosaurus Rex" p 98. Ann says "let's turn the other cheek and heap coals of fire on it!" p 103. Natterjack saves them, making up for when he got them chased by American rebels in the Revolution.(hide spoiler)]The children then meet Queen Elizabeth I. "O Queen, we are strangers come from a far land in our native dress to do you homage" p 141. (view spoiler)[Eliza adlibs, caught misbehaving by magic in their modern limb-exposing outfits, but needs rescuing from the Tower of London. Trying to meet their parents, they end up on island with treasure, untie them as children caught by cannibals. Then the cousins (almost) invisibly sit on elegant theatre-goers' knees to see their dad's play p 184.(hide spoiler)]I'm not fond of the kids. Eliza is selfish, hot-tempered. Ann is goody-goody. Jack disbelieves his own eyes, dazed with hormones. Roger is well, there, I think. But I spend the whole series smiling, especially over the drawings, will continue.

  • Kailey (BooksforMKs)
    2019-01-26 13:22

    Another brilliant book in this series! This time Roger and Ann, and their cousins, are packed off to the seaside for the summer, and discover a garden of thyme where a froggy Natterjack uses the magic of thyme to send them back in time on various adventures.I love how random and funny the magical adventures are, and how the cousins all have different reactions to the time-traveling situations they get into. Eliza is always jumping in and taking action without thinking it through first. Roger is sensible and worried about keeping everyone safe and doing the right thing. Ann is compassionate and sweet and takes the time to notice other people and their needs. Then there's Jack, who is growing up into teenhood, has little interest in magic, and starts noticing girls.There is something so wholesome and delightful about each of these books that keeps me reading and coming back again and again!

  • Jessica
    2019-02-02 12:16

    I don't think I'd have found this any more interesting as a child than I do as an adult. Every time there was something there with potential, the book edged away from it. The concept of the time garden had real potential, but there was so little description or sense of space or presence within it that it was barely noticeable - a real shame for such a potentially lovely idea. The Natterjack didn't just pay homage to Edith Nesbitt, it was a washed and wrung-out version of a Nesbitt equivalent character.

  • Mary
    2019-02-11 15:32

    In the third installment in Eager's magic series, four children spend the summer at a mysterious old house by the sea, and discover the house has a magical garden.This is my personal favorite of the series, in part because of the plays on "time" and "thyme" and the crossover chapter (but no details on that because of spoilers). In general, the book is rather like a seven year old watched a few episodes of Doctor Who and then decided to write a book with his own childish adventures. In the end, it's good fun and ends too soon (but that seems to be how magic always works).

  • Melody
    2019-01-25 15:16

    I really, really, REALLY hated the illustrations of the natterjack. Hated them so much it interfered with my enjoyment of this otherwise enchanting and enchanted story. I loved the central, thyme-y conceit here. I beg to differ that EVERYONE wanted Jo to end up with Laurie in Little Women, however. I'm a huge Eager fan, and this is a lovely entry in the canon.

  • Kate
    2019-02-16 14:16

    Edward Eager's books are classics, and some of my very favorites from childhood. The illustrations by N.M. Bodeker were a huge influence on me, and I loved the stories (you think Harry Potter is original? Hardly). These are excellent books, published mid-century, that build on a foundation laid decades earlier by masters like E. Nesbit.

  • Lela
    2019-02-16 17:32

    Since I am a gardener, I loved this book. I read it out loud to Will, and we were both so excited to pick it up each night. Half Magic is still my favorite by this author, though.

  • Ethenielle
    2019-02-17 11:29

    awwww....I love Edgar Eager books. It has a kind of old fashioned feel to it that adds soooo much charm.

  • Melanie
    2019-02-18 16:20

    Not my favorite so far in the series, but still clever and cute. We really enjoyed the time travel, and how the kids actually run into their parents years earlier on their own magic adventure.

  • Sem
    2019-02-23 10:35

    Oh dear. How embarrassing. Even for the Natterjack I can't bring myself to give it more than 2 stars.

  • DanaMichelle
    2019-02-06 14:42

    Witty, humorous, magical and historical. My roommates and i read this book aloud to each other just for fun :)

  • Laura
    2019-02-10 17:24

    One of those books that you'll retrieve from the children's section over and over again, no matter how old you are.

  • Courtney
    2019-02-24 10:22

    At some point, you'd think these books would get tired, you think they'd get repetitive, you'd think they'd lose their charm, as of yet that has not happened. I might start to feel that way when they start to stray into other families in the future. But thus far, this one is just as delightful as the rest. I particularly love the visit to the March family, and strong-willed Eliza continues to be my favorite of this set of characters.

  • Kelly
    2019-01-30 14:40

    An amazing little book. I read it when I was a kid and just re-read it in a day. It's so fantastical and whimsical and filled with adventure. It's a part of a series of books about magic that are all incredible , but this one is one of my favorites. It's slightly racist, but it was written in the fifties, so I was expecting way worse. It's actually a pretty feminist book, too. This is one of those books I will keep and read to my children.

  • robyn
    2019-02-13 10:29

    If you've read Nesbit, then stick to Nesbit. But if I was building a library for young children, I'd definitely include Eager. He's an easy read, just smart enough for me (an adult) to finish, and not too hard for a child. I probably would have read these more than once as a kid.

  • Gable Roth
    2019-02-08 18:38

    This book was a lot more fun than the others so far in the series. It was happier and lighter. Fun magic adventures still occurred but they don't get into as much trouble so it is a little less stressful.

  • Julie
    2019-01-30 13:14

    One of my all-time fav kid series from my childhood.

  • Fátima Alzahra
    2019-02-12 16:15

    I think it was a great adventure fantasy book One reason I like it is it's almost like the books of Roald Dahl I like this book it's a scholastic the best kind of books to read in my opinion

  • Sharon
    2019-01-25 18:26

    A favorite from childhood. I love to revisit Eager's books.

  • Rick Stuckwisch
    2019-02-19 18:14

    Delightful and enchanting. This is classic children's fantasy-fiction literature at its finest. Wonderful read aloud material. Great for young listeners, but good fun for older children, youth, and adults, too.

  • Wayne Walker
    2019-02-23 15:19

    In another one of Edward Eager's Tales of Magic, the irrepressible children from Knight’s Castle return for some further magic adventures. The father of Roger and Ann, who live in Toledo, OH, has written a play that is to be produced in London, England. He and their mother must go there The brother and sister are to stay with their cousins in Baltimore, MD, Jack and Eliza, again, but Aunt Katharine and Uncle John are planning a business trip to England too, so the four cousins are sent to spend the summer with a distant great-aunt, old Mrs. Whiton who lives outside of Boston, MA, beside the sea. There they discover a special thyme garden overseen by a magical toad-like creature known as the Natterjack. The children learn that if they rub some of the thyme, they are magically transported to different times and places. They have experiences with Whiton ancestors in the Revolutionary War, abolitionist ancestors on the Underground Railroad in pre-Civil War days, the March/Alcott family of Little Women fame who lived nearby, and cannibals on a tropical island. At first, Jack doesn’t want to “play.” He’s too interested in girls and claims that it’s all just pretend anyway, but he finally joins in. Things never seem to go as desired, yet they always work out in the end. Then they want to go see their parents in London and visit the Queen. However, something goes horribly wrong. What will they do when Jack and Eliza get stuck with Queen Elizabeth I, and Eliza is imprisoned at the Tower of London, while Roger and Ann end up talking with Queen Victoria? I like Edward Eager’s stories. They are quite reminiscent of the tales by Edith Nesbit who was one of C. S. Lewis’s favorite storytellers. Some people oppose any kind of “magic” in children’s books, so they would want to avoid ones like this. However, from my perspective, the “magic” of Eager is not the occultic magic of witchcraft and sorcery but the make-believe magic of fairy tales. There are a couple of common euphemisms (gee and darn) but no truly bad language like cursing or profanity. It is interesting to note that the mothers of the two sets of cousins were two of the children in Half Magic and Magic by the Lake, also by Eager. Very easy to read and light-hearted with clever chapter titles, the book is both fun and funny and may actually stimulate some interest in the historical periods and events which the children visit.

  • Ashley
    2019-02-16 10:15 really enjoyed reading The Time Garden much more than I did Knights Castle. These two books have the same set of characters, but the story in this book was much more interesting to me.I am beginning to enjoy this set of characters more as I continue to read about their adventures. However, I do not like Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack as much as I do the children from the other books. Jack is my least favorite character in this book because he is growing out of these fun magical adventures and spends most of his time calling and hanging out with girls. I just found it annoying that it was all Jack talked about. As a result, most of the adventures are with Roger, Ann, and Eliza. Who needs Jack along anyway?I thought the story was pretty interesting, and would be especially interesting to anyone who loves history. The children get to meet Minutemen, Queen Elizabeth I, and even Little Women. They also get to see their parents when they were children. It was interesting to see the other side of the story from the previous book when the children get stranded on the island with the cannibals. Roger, Ann, and Eliza save their parents and discuss whether or not to tell them who they are. It was a very interesting conversation, and one of my favorite parts of the book.The only other thing in the story that bothered me was the Natterjack because he spoke in a British accent which in my opinion would be difficult for a younger child to understand.As in many of the other books there are also some fairly big words, but I believe that is a good thing for younger children. It promotes a good vocabulary even if they have to stop reading and look up a word in a dictionary. There are also many historical and literary references as well as lessons to be learned.I think The Time Garden would be a great book for anyone who has enjoyed the previous books in this series. It would also be a fun book to read aloud to your children. You don’t really need to read all of the other books to be able to read any particular one in the series so far. I believe you can just skip around if you really want to.

  • Neil Coulter
    2019-02-05 15:23

    I don't know why it took me so long to find Edward Eager. I only discovered him several years ago while browsing in the public library. I'm so glad I found him, because his books have become favorites in our family's bedtime reading. He writes with exactly the kind of pun-laced dry humor and wordplay that we love. It's a lot of fun to read aloud to the kids. I also like the many references to other books and movies, some of which require some further explanation to our children, who haven't yet encountered some of the sources that were standard for children in Eager's day. (In The Time Garden, one whole chapter is devoted to the March family from Little Women; I'm embarrassed to say that my kids had no idea what Little Women was about. But what can I say--I have three sons.) The playful prose is similar to other of our favorite authors: Lewis Carroll, Norton Juster, A.A. Milne, Roald Dahl (though I wouldn't say that Eager's style surpasses any of those literary luminaries).I've never read all of Eager's stories in the proper order, which is a bit of a hindrance--but then again, maybe that just adds to the craziness of the stories. The Time Garden comes later in the chronology and builds on previous adventures, but it works as a standalone entry-point as well. The chapters are episodic (except for one pair of chapters which includes a cliffhanger), which is perfect for chapter-a-night readings. The magic is illogical and inconsistent, and some details that I expected would be connected by the end never were. But what fun to read! The Time Garden is not quite as great as Half Magic, but it was still a fun read-aloud with the kids.

  • Robert
    2019-02-22 18:32

    The Time Garden by Edward Eager is a story of magical time travel that requires thyme, the time garden, and a group of children at a time. The group of children required change whenever their magic is used up, and guess who's turn is it now- the four children from Knight's Castle! That is, Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack. And along their way, a magical, toad-like creature called a Natterjack sometimes help them if they have problems.During their magical journeys, they went to several places (e.g. Great Britain in the past), and met different people (like Queen Elizabeth). But one of my favorites was when they traveled to an island inhabited by cannibals, and met their own parents, who, at that time, were also children, and also using magic! I think the best part of that is that they even go back to another book in it's series, Magic by the Lake.

  • Nikki
    2019-02-14 10:17

    I picked this book because the cover reminded of of a Roald Dahl book (which I've loved since I learned to read) and I was slightly disappointed that the story wasn't nearly as magical as Roald Dahl's. Its not that it was a bad story, but I had a set expectation in my mind that it fell short of. The premise is basically that four children (one who is coming into puberty and finding more interest in girls than adventure) move to their aunt's house on a cliff and discover a garden of thyme. However the thyme they find isn't just used for flavoring food, it actually contains the ability for "thyme" travel.They go on all kinds of adventures led by a toad-like creature that tends the garden.From historical literature, to finding that their parents also knew quite a bit of adventure in their day, to falling into severe trouble and getting stuck in the past, they sure get their fill of interesting events.I was looking for a quick, cute read with this book and got it. The characters were slightly annoying (one was pre-occupied with girls and served as the "negative Nancy" throughout the whole book, one was an arrogant and selfish snot of a girl and the others were just along for the ride and served only as fodder for the story).This was a "give away after reading" book for me. Interesting idea but fell short with characters and description.

  • Linnae
    2019-02-21 11:29

    Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack are back together for the summer while their parents are in England. They're staying in a very old house by the sea with a Great-aunt of some sort, Mrs. Whiton. In any case, there's a marvelous garden full of thyme...and time, as it turns out. Their magical guide this time is a Natterjack--a frog-like creature who minds the garden and the magic.As they use the thyme for time travel, all sorts of adventures ensue.2.5 stars, really. This one was a bit slower for us. We still liked it and the kids were still eager to listen to it, but quite a bit of the history went over their heads, especially the adventures in the last half of the book. The 2 adventures in the beginning, with the Minutemen and the Underground Railroad really had them captured, as did the adventure where they saved their parents (as kids) from the cannibals. On the other hand, they don't know anything about Little Women yet, or either Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoria, or the Tower of London. So by the end it was dragging a bit and they were ready to be done with it and move on.They have talked about testing out our garden thyme though, just in case. :)