CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 31. . . .April 15, 2011.
A Whole Nother Story.
Dr. Cuthbert Soup. Illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins.
New York, NY: Bloomsbury (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Canada), 2010.
264 pp., hardcover, $21.00.
Grade 4-7 / Ages 9-12.
Review by Inderjit Deogun.
The children of Mr. Ethan Cheeseman found themselves in a near-constant state of friendlessness through absolutely no fault of their own. By all accounts the three youngsters were smart, pleasant, witty, attractive, polite and relatively odor free. All traits that generally result in one having plenty of friends.
Their state of perennial friendlessness could be attributed solely to the fact that they were never in one place long enough to form any lasting relationships. You see, Ethan Cheeseman was a scientist and inventor by trade and, when he moved closer to perfecting a device so incredible, a device that could be used for either immense good or unspeakable evil, he found that suddenly everyone—from corporate criminals to top secret government agencies to international superspies—desired to get their hands on his brilliant new creation.
Ethan realized that this remarkable device would only ever be safe in his own hands. And so, one night he made a decision. He would disassemble the partially completed machine, load it into the family station wagon along with his three sleepy children, and disappear. And he would remain in a state of disappearedness until the device, known simply as the LVR, could be completed, perfected, and used to reclaim the life of Olivia, his beautiful wife and mother of his three smart, polite, and relatively odor-free children.
One wouldn’t assume that a man with the name Ethan Cheeseman is prone to landing in sticky situations. The truth is you would be terribly misguided in your assumption. In fact, Mr. Cheeseman, scientist/inventor extraordinaire, along with his three children—Barton, Saffron and Crandall—have been on the run for the past two years. Ever since his wife Olivia was murdered for their creation known as Luminal Velocity Regulator.
Mr. Cheeseman and his children flee from town to town in order to escape the clutches of top secret government agents, international superspies and corporate villains, all of whom want his time machine. Along the way, the Cheeseman family befriends unusual characters that aren’t what they seem. With the risk of capture a constant threat, Mr. Cheeseman must find a way to finish the time machine. He and his children must travel back in time to stop the murder of their beloved wife and mother.
A Whole Nother Story is a story like no other. Dr. Cuthbert Soup fashions a tale of intrigue, murder and mystery that is perfectly balanced with humour. The boundless humour comes in the form of unique characters that range from Steve, the sock puppet, to Jibby, owner of Captain Jibby’s Traveling Circus Sideshow. Dr. Soup’s tidbits of unsolicited advice interspersed throughout prove to be both quirky and informative. A Whole Nother Story does not disappoint in delivering a spectacular home run.
Inderjit Deogun, of Toronto, ON, is currently pursuing a career in publishing with a particular interest in children’s literature.
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