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The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4)
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The Time Garden (Tales of Magic #4)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  3,544 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
"Anything can happen when you have all the time in the world" says the frog-like Natterjack in old relative Mrs Whiton's thyme garden. Cousins Roger, Ann, Eliza and girl-crazy Jack ride for American rebels, bow to Queen Elizabeth I, and even rescue their own parents when they were children.
Unknown Binding, 224 pages
Published 2001 by Oxford University Press (first published 1958)
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Qt
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, fantasy
As always, Edward Eager's writing left me feeling happy :-) I love his style--it seems so warm and personal, and "The Time Garden" is a delightful fantasy with lots of humor and fun. Plus, it takes place in the summer so this was a good time to read it ;-)
FYI: there are "Little Women" spoilers in this book :-)
R.J.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a re-read, as I was reading it out loud to my 9-year-old son. I dearly love Edward Eager's books, so it was a bit painful to revisit this one and discover that it was not as good as I'd remembered it. The characterization is great (headstrong Eliza with her "leadership qualities" especially is a terrific prickly girl character, though her character arc wasn't half as satisfying or fully resolved as I'd thought), the dialogue wryly funny, the setting well described, and the premise as mag ...more
Drew
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read_to_kids
Reading Edward Eager's books to the kids has been a lot of fun. Are they great literature? No (but compared to much of what's published today, they're practically Shakespeare). But they really capture that mid-20th-century milieu, while blatantly and shamelessly giving nods to E. Nesbit's books from half a century earlier. (After all, what is the Natterjack but Eager's own Psammead?)

In this book, the four children from Knight's Castle are spending the summer together by the ocean. The discover
...more
Andrea
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Four cousins find a garden that allows them to travel magically through time (by sniffing thyme). As in all of Eager's books, however, magic is unpredictable and often uncontrollable. This is a great book to read aloud with a mixed age group because the thrills and danger are not too excessive for younger listeners, but the wit and history based humor will appeal to older kids and adults. Another good thing about Eager is that his characters are realistic and interesting. His girls are often bra ...more
An Odd1
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"Anything can happen when you have all the time in the world" p 20 on the sundial in the thyme patch reminds me of Jane Louise Curry's Parsley Sage Rosemary and Time https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . The froggy Natterjack proud Cockney accent " 'ighly superior" p 24 "London bred my grandaddy's grandaddy was .. H'emigrated 'ere" p 24 'ides in a patch of thyme for visiting children. Four cousins re-unite for magic holiday while Roger's dad puts on a London play, other parents tour Europe. ...more
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Another brilliant book in this series! This time Roger and Ann, and their cousins, are packed off to the seaside for the summer, and discover a garden of thyme where a froggy Natterjack uses the magic of thyme to send them back in time on various adventures.

I love how random and funny the magical adventures are, and how the cousins all have different reactions to the time-traveling situations they get into. Eliza is always jumping in and taking action without thinking it through first. Roger is
...more
Jessica
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s, fiction
I don't think I'd have found this any more interesting as a child than I do as an adult. Every time there was something there with potential, the book edged away from it. The concept of the time garden had real potential, but there was so little description or sense of space or presence within it that it was barely noticeable - a real shame for such a potentially lovely idea. The Natterjack didn't just pay homage to Edith Nesbitt, it was a washed and wrung-out version of a Nesbitt equivalent cha ...more
Mary
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the third installment in Eager's magic series, four children spend the summer at a mysterious old house by the sea, and discover the house has a magical garden.

This is my personal favorite of the series, in part because of the plays on "time" and "thyme" and the crossover chapter (but no details on that because of spoilers). In general, the book is rather like a seven year old watched a few episodes of Doctor Who and then decided to write a book with his own childish adventures. In the end, i
...more
Melody
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really, really, REALLY hated the illustrations of the natterjack. Hated them so much it interfered with my enjoyment of this otherwise enchanting and enchanted story. I loved the central, thyme-y conceit here. I beg to differ that EVERYONE wanted Jo to end up with Laurie in Little Women, however. I'm a huge Eager fan, and this is a lovely entry in the canon.
Kate
May 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Edward Eager's books are classics, and some of my very favorites from childhood. The illustrations by N.M. Bodeker were a huge influence on me, and I loved the stories (you think Harry Potter is original? Hardly). These are excellent books, published mid-century, that build on a foundation laid decades earlier by masters like E. Nesbit.
Lela
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since I am a gardener, I loved this book. I read it out loud to Will, and we were both so excited to pick it up each night. Half Magic is still my favorite by this author, though.
Ethenielle
awwww....I love Edgar Eager books. It has a kind of old fashioned feel to it that adds soooo much charm.
Melanie
Jul 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Not my favorite so far in the series, but still clever and cute. We really enjoyed the time travel, and how the kids actually run into their parents years earlier on their own magic adventure.
Sem
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth-fiction
Oh dear. How embarrassing. Even for the Natterjack I can't bring myself to give it more than 2 stars.
DanaMichelle
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Witty, humorous, magical and historical. My roommates and i read this book aloud to each other just for fun :)
Laura
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of those books that you'll retrieve from the children's section over and over again, no matter how old you are.
Courtney
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
At some point, you'd think these books would get tired, you think they'd get repetitive, you'd think they'd lose their charm, as of yet that has not happened. I might start to feel that way when they start to stray into other families in the future. But thus far, this one is just as delightful as the rest. I particularly love the visit to the March family, and strong-willed Eliza continues to be my favorite of this set of characters.
Kelly
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An amazing little book. I read it when I was a kid and just re-read it in a day. It's so fantastical and whimsical and filled with adventure. It's a part of a series of books about magic that are all incredible , but this one is one of my favorites. It's slightly racist, but it was written in the fifties, so I was expecting way worse. It's actually a pretty feminist book, too. This is one of those books I will keep and read to my children.
Gable Roth
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-fiction
This book was a lot more fun than the others so far in the series. It was happier and lighter. Fun magic adventures still occurred but they don't get into as much trouble so it is a little less stressful.
Julie
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-childhood, kids
One of my all-time fav kid series from my childhood.
Fátima Alzahra
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think it was a great adventure fantasy book
One reason I like it is it's almost like the books of Roald Dahl
I like this book it's a scholastic the best kind of books to read in my opinion
Sharon
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A favorite from childhood. I love to revisit Eager's books.
Rick Stuckwisch
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Delightful and enchanting. This is classic children's fantasy-fiction literature at its finest. Wonderful read aloud material. Great for young listeners, but good fun for older children, youth, and adults, too.
Wayne Walker
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In another one of Edward Eager's Tales of Magic, the irrepressible children from Knight’s Castle return for some further magic adventures. The father of Roger and Ann, who live in Toledo, OH, has written a play that is to be produced in London, England. He and their mother must go there The brother and sister are to stay with their cousins in Baltimore, MD, Jack and Eliza, again, but Aunt Katharine and Uncle John are planning a business trip to England too, so the four cousins are sent to spend ...more
Ashley
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
http://readfantasybooks.wordpress.com/

I really enjoyed reading The Time Garden much more than I did Knights Castle. These two books have the same set of characters, but the story in this book was much more interesting to me.

I am beginning to enjoy this set of characters more as I continue to read about their adventures. However, I do not like Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack as much as I do the children from the other books. Jack is my least favorite character in this book because he is growing out o
...more
Neil Coulter
I don't know why it took me so long to find Edward Eager. I only discovered him several years ago while browsing in the public library. I'm so glad I found him, because his books have become favorites in our family's bedtime reading. He writes with exactly the kind of pun-laced dry humor and wordplay that we love. It's a lot of fun to read aloud to the kids. I also like the many references to other books and movies, some of which require some further explanation to our children, who haven't yet ...more
Robert
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tales-of-magic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book because the cover reminded of of a Roald Dahl book (which I've loved since I learned to read) and I was slightly disappointed that the story wasn't nearly as magical as Roald Dahl's. Its not that it was a bad story, but I had a set expectation in my mind that it fell short of.
The premise is basically that four children (one who is coming into puberty and finding more interest in girls than adventure) move to their aunt's house on a cliff and discover a garden of thyme. Howeve
...more
Linnae
Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack are back together for the summer while their parents are in England. They're staying in a very old house by the sea with a Great-aunt of some sort, Mrs. Whiton. In any case, there's a marvelous garden full of thyme...and time, as it turns out. Their magical guide this time is a Natterjack--a frog-like creature who minds the garden and the magic.

As they use the thyme for time travel, all sorts of adventures ensue.

2.5 stars, really. This one was a bit slower for us. We
...more
Charity
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
My kids and I continue to love Edward Eager's books. In this one, I especially enjoyed playing with the Natterjack's accent while reading aloud, and all of the time/thyme puns. I also love the eye-rolling the other kids in the story do in response to Jack's budding teenager-ness and the intersection of this story with those in other classics (and with Eager's Magic by the Lake) and with historical events. The premise is pretty much the same as in the other books---the kids discover an "in" to ma ...more
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Vecchio Book Club: The Time Garden 1 1 Aug 16, 2012 04:38PM  
  • The Magic City
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5)
  • The Four-Story Mistake (The Melendy Family, #2)
  • The Diamond in the Window (Hall Family Chronicles, #1)
  • The Witch Family
  • Shadow Castle
  • Mary Poppins in the Park (Mary Poppins, #4)
  • The Pink Motel
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Eager was born in and grew up in Toledo, Ohio and attended Harvard University, class of 1935. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he lived for 14 years before moving to Connecticut. He married Jane Eberly in 1938 and they had a son, Fritz.

Eager was a childhood fan of L. Frank Baum's Oz series, and started writing children's books when he could not find stories he wanted to read to
...more
More about Edward Eager...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of Magic (7 books)
  • Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1)
  • Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2)
  • Magic by the Lake (Tales of Magic, #3)
  • Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
  • The Well-Wishers (Tales of Magic, #6)
  • Seven-Day Magic (Tales of Magic, #7)
“But in the garden the sun still shone. The innumerable bees hummed. The scent of thyme hung on the air. But only the Natterjack was there to breathe the fragrant essence of it.

He and the garden were waiting. They were waiting for more children. They didn't care how long they waited. They had all the time in the world.

-The Time Garden, Edward Eager”
8 likes
“Old Mrs. Whiton stopped waving. She stood on the steps of the old house, looking up at the sky, where clouds were piling in the northeast. That meant a storm was coming, and old Mrs. Whiton's eyes flashed. She liked storms. They were a challenge to her. She went into the house, and soon her typewriter keys were clacking wildly, furiously, as though the storm were already there and she were racing the wind of it.” 1 likes
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