Stitches in Time Travel

A Magical Trip Through Time Kids Book

Children - Action
52 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Peter G. Reynolds is a writer and documentary filmmaker from Toronto, Canada. He began writing children's stories when his son was born in 2009. When his son Griffin turned five, he asked "where do lost things go before they're found?". Like any good father, Peter answered, "to a magical world that contains all lost things". This was the inspiration for Lost Hallway. He is currently busy working on Musings and Other Nonsense, a weekly podcast of children's stories and poems and just released his first chapter book "Stitches in Time Travel".

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Stitches in Time Travel: A Magical Trip Through Time Kids Book by Peter G. Reynolds is a charming, whimsical fairytale for time-travel fans everywhere. Charlotte is a little girl who has to go to her grandmother's aging manor for Christmas but isn't into the idea at all. But her life is brightened by a time-traveling quilt that takes her back to the past, where she finds herself caught and unsure of the way back. This is where the story gets interesting as her grandmother, great-grandmother, and mother, also her age, are the only ones who can help her get back to the present.

Reminiscent of A Christmas Story, yet this story is fresh and contemporary and is perfect for adults as well as children. This holiday offering will activate the imagination and perhaps cause young readers to think about their families, past and future, in new ways. Reynolds combines clever ideas with a heartfelt message that almost anyone can relate to. I especially like the idea of the time-traveling quilt, which is magical in more ways than one and brought back memories of my own grandmother, who made special quilts through the years. Children love the fantastic, and this illustrated book will feed a child's imagination and also touch the heart. It was a neat thing to read about Charlotte being with her 10-year-old mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother again, prompting readers to wonder what it would be like for them if they got to spend time with their ancestors as children. Stitches in Time Travel: A Magical Trip Through Time Kids Book by Peter G. Reynolds could very well be your new Christmas classic and should not be missed.

Asher Syed

Stitches in Time Travel, written by Peter G. Reynolds and illustrated by Michelle Simpson, is a middle-grade children's fantasy book that follows a young girl named Charlotte who is spending Christmas with her Nana. Charlotte is less than thrilled about her time in the old manor house and is quick to try to remove herself from repetitive stories about women with whom Charlotte wasn't even going to pretend she could line up. Given an heirloom of a quilted blanket, Charlotte soon finds herself transported from under its intricate designs. Now in a mostly familiar space with a totally unfamiliar group of people, Charlotte discovers her past and is able to connect with the legacies of her great-grandmother, grandmother “Nana”, and her own mother in ways she never imagined possible.

Stitches in Time Travel is a book that is incredibly easy to get on board with. Peter G. Reynolds writes with fantastically descriptive prose that is age-appropriate but still miles ahead of so many other middle-grade stories I've found. More than just a story of Charlotte, Reynolds walks us through privilege and class, war, and discord within families that cast the mold of entire futures when those same children become adults themselves. The illustrations by Michelle Simpson complement the writing well, bringing pieces of the story to life through original sketches. As a parent with a family legacy that spans these same generations, I found the book carried a great deal of weight as I read it to my own little Charlotte who simply has a different name. As all beautiful stories do, this has gorgeous takeaways that are worthy of embroidery on their own quilts. Without one of our own though, I foresee this book being read for many Christmases to come.

Lois Henderson

Stitches in Time Travel: A Magical Trip Through Time Kids Book by Peter G. Reynolds tells the story of a young girl, Charlotte, and her younger sister, Beatrix, who have to spend Christmas at her grandmother’s (Nana) large old, ramshackle home. On Christmas Eve, Nana cajoles Charlotte into listening to one of her tales of when she was young. Reluctantly, Charlotte listens to how every girl in their family, when she was ten years old, would sew another patch onto the family’s patchwork blanket. Declining to help her Nana add another patch that very night, which would ensure a visit by the Christmas Angel, Charlotte retires to her room with the quilt. When she falls asleep under it, she returns in time to visit her great-grandmother (in Victorian times), her grandmother (in a bomb shelter during World War II), and her mother (at a time of strained relations between her mother’s parents), as young girls themselves.

Reynolds has chosen to depict the evolving scenes very much in terms of the people present in them. For instance, when Charlotte visits her great-grandmother in Victorian times, the portrayal of how the kitchen maids speak to each other, and to the housekeeper, is very evocatively done, clearly showing the class distinctions of the time. The strains of war on those hiding in the bomb shelter, and the sheer grime and grittiness of it all, are poignantly displayed in the scene with her grandmother. In the scene with Charlotte’s mother, the domestic conflict between Charlotte’s parents is graphically expressed through the slamming of the car door outside by her father, as he leaves after an argument with his wife.

Peter G. Reynolds’ illustrated Stitches in Time Travel is a delight for anyone (and especially for any child) who appreciates (family) history. Focusing very much on the relationship that Charlotte is able to establish with each woman in the brief amount of time that she is given to visit them, the surrounding context in each case is drawn with care. Apart from the main story itself, Stitches in Time Travel serves as a restrained commentary on the evolution of society over time. I found that both levels of writing worked well for me, with Reynolds’ style being warm and compassionate throughout. Stitches in Time Travel is highly recommended, not only for 7 to 12-year-olds but for a wider audience as well.