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Usborne Time Traveler

post written by Emma Filbrun

Usborne Time Traveler by Judy HindleyTitle: Usborne Time Traveler
Author: Judy Hindley
Series: Four books in one: Pharoahs and Pyramids, Knights and Castles, Rome and Romans, Viking Raiders
Major Themes: Castles, Egypt, Knights, Rome, Vikings
Synopsis: Lively full-color illustration and brief text provide children with a glimpse into four different periods of history.

We’ve always enjoyed The Usborne Time Traveler book, since we first read it for history ten years ago. I think we just finished our third time reading it. Our copy is getting rather worn; the covers have been taped back on and the first page is loose. Our boys have spent hours studying the pictures.

Time Traveler is actually four books in one cover. You can buy each book separately, or all in one as we have. In this book, you are told to imagine that you have a special time-travel helmet, with which you travel backward in time. Your first stop is a castle in Europe in 1238, and you spend some time living with the family of Baron Godfrey and watching daily life, as well as a tournament. Then, you travel on farther back to Norway in 890, where you go on a raid with the Vikings and live with them awhile on their farm. Your next destination is Rome in 100, where you experience life with a rich Roman family, and then you go on to Egypt in 1400 BC, where you live with a rich family there.

Time Traveler is quite an effective way to give children a glimpse into cultures of the past. The full-color illustrations with little snippets of text attract reluctant- and non-readers. There is so much action in some of the pictures that children will spend a long time studying them.

WARNING: I used a black Sharpie marker to draw clothes on the dancing girls in the feast scene in Ancient Egypt. Also, in the Viking section, there is a pretty graphic raid scene, and when telling about burial customs it mentions the fact that slaves were often killed to “accompany” their owners.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12


Links to buy Usborne Time Traveler:

Amazon (all books in one): Hardcover


Pharoahs and Pyramids, Book 1—

Amazon: Paperback

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Knights and Castles, Book 2—

Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Rome and Romans, Book 3—

Amazon: Paperback

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Viking Raiders, Book 4—

Amazon: Paperback

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Castles, Egypt, Knights, Rome, Vikings

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