Ten-year-old Tim Hart lives in The Dawn Star Hotel with his adopted parents, Elisa and Chris Green. However, Elisa and Chris are always very busy or away. Tim feels lonely, until one day, whilst he is stealing brownies from an empty function room, he meets a strange and very interesting man. This man turns out to be Professor Eisenstone. Professor Eisenstone has just invented a very clever machine. It is called TDACD, but Tim likes to call it ‘The Imagination Box’, because it can create anything you think of. It is nearly finished. However, the professor is very worried that someone is trying to steal it, and that is why he is staying in the hotel.
Tim and the professor become friends, and Tim helps the professor with some very interesting experiments – one of which produces Phil, a friendly, well-spoken finger monkey. But then the professor suddenly disappears. Tim finds the professor’s treasured watch and realises that the professor has been kidnapped. So Tim, Phil and Dee (the professor’s granddaughter) start trying to find out what has happened to the professor.
During their investigation, they come across Chris Crowfield, the new chef and Kane, a policeman, but no one believes that the professor has really been kidnapped. Who can they trust, and what really happened to Professor Eisenstone’s partner, Professor Whitelock?
The Imagination Box is an exciting and fun book. The idea of ‘The Imagination Box’ itself is unusual and intriguing, and the consequences of using it are funny and clever. Tim is a very engaging protagonist whom many children will identify with. His boldness in embarking on a dangerous adventure to save the professor is appealing to children and adults alike. Finally, some of the more fantastical elements in the plot are hilarious and extremely enjoyable. This comic story will appeal to both boys and girls and will definitely make readers laugh.