Is there a monster in the woods? Johnny Baines says there is – but Johnny is a bully and a tormenter. Dizzy thinks it might be a spy – he has seen signs. Maybe it is time to find out. But what is time? Then? Now? Sometime? The little gang of three venture into the unknown to discover that time may not be as it seems. As Old Crony says: ‘There is no single now…You see the world from the place you are standing, but when you move, time and space change too…’. But the now is to be grasped – and the future can be changed.
Science and imagination are often presented as opposites that can have nothing in common. Here Christopher Edge demonstrates again that this is untrue; science and imagination need each other. The result is an excellent and enjoyable read for KS2 and early KS3 readers. The questions embedded in the story are not fanciful but intriguing; there is the opportunity for those who claim a greater interest in fact to explore further, while the imaginative can also realise that fact is fascinating. Not only does the plot carry the reader along, but the setting – a dense wood where it is easy to lose direction – is immediate and present. The characters – Charlie (did you think she was a boy?), Dizzy and Johnny are very real, recognisable, solid. And indeed, it transpires that they were real people – we are treated to a quick snapshot of their futures at the very end. ‘Real’ life can inspire as much of a story as flying carpets and superheroes; Christopher Edge is the author to demonstrate this with an assurance and skill that can only result in enjoyment.