Reviewed by H T Scott
The Clock people are a tiny race whose job it is to maintain a rather special and unique fob watch. Designed and built by John Joseph Merlin, yep Merlin. The tiny inhabitants of this curiosity are governed by the Clock Elders, who in their wisdom have chosen to not tell the clock community about the world outside. So the clock people live a simple existence governed by the Elders and the tick-tocking of the clock in which they live.
Wilbur Wigglesworth and Tippy Handle are apprentices learning how to maintain the cogs and springs in which they live. That is until one night when they are cleaning the moonstone face of the clock, Wilbur hears a deep grumbling noise and upon investigation, he and Tippy discover the giant who owns the watch snoring. Wilbur and Tippy fall from the watch face and into the land of giants that the Elders had tried to keep secret. Upon returning to the watch they are brought before the Elders and told to keep the secret of the outside world. They agree and the status quo is resumed, although now curiosity about outside and the owner of the watch have piqued the pair’s interest.
However, Wilbur and Tippy arrange to meet up and sneak out onto the face of the watch once more. In doing so they find themselves unable to make it back to the safety of the watch and can only stand by and observe as the watch is pickpocketed and becomes the possession of a rather underhanded and cunning thief. But all is not lost as Wilbur and Tippy are serendipitously saved by a succession of events that land them in the company of two children, Scarlet and her brother Alfie.
This unlikely quartet joins together to catch a thief and return Wilbur and Tippy to their fob watch home. Along the way, there is an adventure, time travel, dragonflies and Merlin.
Written for a younger reader, I can think of no better recommendation for a bedtime story. I think that because of some of the references to other stories and the play on words, it is a book best shared with an adult. Although, that said if your child is a particularly good reader they may enjoy reading it alone. Langdale has written an enchanting and entertaining read and as this is the first book of The Clockwork Chronicles, I can only imagine how the characters will grow with new challenges.