Is your child fascinated with time travel and puzzles?
Check out this book written by Matt Brennan and illustrated by Jonathon Reich titled Time Sandwich. When this book first arrived, I was interested by the idea of starting a story in the middle. It kind of reminded me of the Choose Your Own Adventure Books that I used read to read as a child. However, at first glance it can be challenging to navigate the book but would be a fun activity to figure out together. After reading this book, I felt the book was more of a quest/puzzle than an actual story. The author, Matt Brennan explains this more as he discusses his passion for time travel, games and puzzles.
Including this author interview with the review was key so that he can explain first hand what inspired him to create this book and tips for optimizing the experience of reading Time Sandwich.
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Interview with the Author
Thank you Matt for answering my questions about your unique book, Time Sandwich!
Tell me about your book Time Sandwich and how it’s unique. The whole idea of Start-In-The-Middle Books is make the reading experience more interactive. In Time Sandwich, you’re not just reading about Tuckie and Huggs, you’re flipping the pages back and forth and travelling into the past and the future along with them. I really wanted the reader to feel like they’re along for the ride.
What inspired you to create the graphic novel book, Time Sandwich? Two of the things I love the most are time travel and games & puzzles. And I had this thought: What kind of book would only make sense if you started in the middle? The obvious solution (since I love time travel), was a book where the middle of the book is ‘the present’, and if you’re going forwards or backwards in time, you would turn the pages forwards or backwards to travel one way or the other.
But the real fun of the book, for me, was puzzling together a story that works. A lot of time travel stories don’t really make sense if you look too closely. In Time Sandwich, the main characters run into past and future versions of themselves over and over, and that had to be done in a way that makes logical sense as a time travel story and doesn’t confuse the reader.
For kids who pick up your book for the first time, what is the best way to begin reading the book since it “starts in the middle”
Well, you should start in the middle. There’s a huge Stop Sign on the first page that tells the reader to STOP! and start in the middle, and there are colored lines to follow. Just follow the arrows and you shouldn’t get lost. Unless you want to get lost. Because, by the way, there are hidden pages in the book. Shhh!
Will this book be part of a series of books? I would like to do more Start-in-the-Middle books. There’s one in the works which (of course) starts in the middle and if you go one way you have a dream, and if you go the other way you have a nightmare. And there are other ideas brewing, including a space adventure, a detective story and one with a robot who doesn’t know he’s a robot.