Stuck in the Stone Age

The Story Pirates and Geoff Rodkey, illus. by Hatem Aly. Rodale Kids, $13.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-63565-089-1
Inspired by a story idea from real-life kid Vince Boberski, “presented” by performing troupe the Story Pirates, and written by Rodkey (the Tapper Twins series), this madcap tale also serves as an instruction manual for children thinking of writing their own books. As the story unfolds, readers are invited to check out tips in the “Story Creation Zone” at the back of the book to learn about character development, plot twists, and other components of storytelling. Rodkey begins at a mysterious lab where Marisa, a shy scientist, and Tom, a janitor with scientific aspirations of his own, accidentally trigger a time machine that sends them back to the Stone Age. There, they befriend cavemen, defeat a saber-toothed tiger, and try to figure out how to return to the present. Jam-packed with both writing advice and jokes, including a great running gag in which the cavepeople’s unintelligible language is translated into erudite English, this two-for-one tale is as smart as it is entertaining. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: for the Story Pirates, Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management; for Rodkey, Josh Getzler, Hannigan Salky Getzler. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Group. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/18/2017
Release date: 03/20/2018
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