‘Rory and Harlow’s Time Travelling Taxi’ by Rob Willsher

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Rory, Harlow and their friend, Dog, set off on an adventure with Tommy (the time-travelling taxi), who takes them to the time of Queen Boadicea. Aimed at children aged from 5-10 years old, these stories are intended to help get kids interested in history. Following the KS1 and KS2 curriculum the book is intended to mix fact, fiction and fun as well as encompassing SMSC, PSHE, literacy and history.

With its subtitle, ‘The Woman With The Long Red Hair’, I bought this book because one of the heroes (Rory) is a Bedlington Terrier (Bedlington being my home town) and because I enjoy adventures where animals take the lead (no pun intended). While I liked the idea of the canny canines meeting up with Boadicea in a story that includes facts about the Romans in Britain, it’s a shame the adventure isn’t more exciting. Having travelled to such an interesting time in history, so much more could have happened than simply helping the Britons get their cart moving.

Although I applaud the author’s attempts to create a tale that follows the curriculum, to be honest, I can’t see ten-year-olds being interested in a story with so little action. Also, there’s a vast difference in reading ability between the ages of five and ten, so it would have been nice to see a more specific age group identified.

Potentially a great little book but let down by a boring storyline.


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