The Binkertons are back, this time travelling to ancient China (On the Run in Ancient China) where they are chased across the country because they learned the secret of silk making – and the fact they are barbarians, uncivilized outsiders.

This is the second Time Travel Guide I have read by author Linda Bailey (who is also the author of the Stanley books), illustrated by Bill Slavin, who also illustrated Stanley ($12.99, Kids Can Press). The first book was called Hot on the Trail in Ancient Egypt. 

The Binkerstons – twins Emma and Josh and their curious little sister Libby – follow their noses into the Good Time Travel Agency where they again meet its mysterious owner Julian T. Pettigrew, who hands them a book. The book magically sends them back to the first century in China where the kids adventures begin.

While the top half of the book is purely fiction, following the a story of the twins who chase their little sister through China after she sneaks into a carriage headed for the emperor’s palace, the bottom half, told through Pettigrew’s travel guide, is fact, giving us information about what life was like in ancient China from their love of walls – The Great Wall being the best example – to its peoples’ many inventions including umbrellas and mechanical clocks.

We learn the Chinese considered anyone outside their borders barbarians and and that the secrets of making paper and silk is so top secret that anyone who accidentally discovers how to make it is tortured to death.

I like these books, or at least I liked the two I have read so far. I like the mix of fiction and non-fiction and the way it’s presented – the story and information and the illustrations that pull it all together.

Note: I review Game on in Ancient Greece. Read the review here.

A copy of this book was provided by Kids Can Press for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.