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Knights of the Kitchen Table (The Time Warp Trio) Paperback – May 1, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
Book 1 of 16 in the Time Warp Trio Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-- A book from his magician uncle transports Joe and his friends, Fred and Sam, back in time to swashbuckling adventures fraught with dangers at every turn. In the first story, quick thinking and daring-do save them from a fire-breathing dragon and a foul-smelling giant; in the second, an encounter with the dreaded Blackbeard almost causes their demise. Tongue-in-cheek humor, laced with understatement and word play, makes for laugh-out-loud reading, as verbal insults are hurled, and the boys outwit their foes. Villains and heroes clash, as do modern and archaic language and dress, causing misunderstandings and mayhem. Short, easy-to-read sentences and lots of zany dialogue perfectly suit the breathless pace. Smith brings new dimension to black-and-white drawings, as looming villains tower over the trio, brandishing swords or lances, and the boys escape their captors. A true melding of word and pictures, and jolly good fun. --Trev Jones, School Library Journal
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The author of the hilarious The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (1989) comes up with an entertaining formula in this first ``Time Warp Trio'' story: Narrator Joe is given a magic book (''The Book'') that transports him and two friends to King Arthur's Britain, where they find themselves confronted by a fearsome Black Knight--who's easy to defeat with some quick dodging when he's in mid-charge. Then Lancelot, Gawain, et al. happen by and take the boys for heroes--a reputation they sustain by tricking the loathsome giant who's menacing the castle into fighting the terrible dragon (Smaug) that has also just turned up. Scieszka unobtrusively slips in several classic references and defines some chivalric jargon by having the boys comically paraphrase it; there is some daring juvenile humor on the subject of the giant's various atrocious smells, and the contrast between the boys' breezy manner and the knights' pseudo-formality is also good for several laughs. A little forced, but this should serve its purpose. Smith's drawings deftly reflect the blend of everyday kid with zany, mock-gruesome adventure. See also a simultaneously published sequel, The Not-So-Jolly Roger, reviewed below (in brief). (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 55 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140346031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440849902
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,340,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a third grade teacher, and every September I start off the new school year with The Knights of the Kitchen Table. I use the Time Warp Trio to ease my students into sitting quietly, while listening to a story for pleasure. After each chapter the children beg me to read another! Regardless of the academic abilities of my students, every one of them seems to truly enjoy this series. Although it is certainly not worthy of a Newbery Medal, I feel it is a fantastic easier chapter book that serves as a springboard to reading. In fact, The Time Warp Trio books are rarely sitting on the shelves of our school library. They are always in a child's hands. To me that makes it worthy of 5 stars.
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There are lots of fine young adult titles in the fantasy, sci-fi, and quest genres, but I have been having a tough time finding good books at the chapter book level. They aren't very good as chapter books and they aren't at all good as fantasy.
The Time Warp Trio series, (there are at least seven volumes), has turned out to be a wonderful find.
The three boy heroes are resourceful, brave, and loyal to each other. The kidding around is funny and not mean. The overall tone of the books is cheerful.
The plots are sort of silly and a little forced, (a magic book transports them to a different adventure in each volume), but within a reasonable kids version of fantasy.
The books are not driven by farts and boogers or other cheap "reluctant reader" conventions. Rather, there is an actual adventure, usually with a problem (how to beat the giant, or how to get back home), that has to be solved.
Parents don't play a large role, but they also aren't portrayed as idiots or grumps.
Short paragraphs and chapters move the action along at a good pace.
This has turned out to be a good attention-holding read-with, and is a manageable read-alone. And as I look over my kid library, the series really does seem to be the only one filling the gap at that awkward early reader level.
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Format: Paperback
My son...was given this book by his aunt who works in a library. I had never heard of the Time Warp Trio before that. This book is just right for him. It's not too long to be overwhelming but long enough to be challenging. The kids in the book act in a realistic manner and aren't overly heroic or too goody goody. The book was both interesting and funny and a real pleasure to read with my son. We also have a few others in the series now. This book is perfect for the kid who has outgrown Little Critter and Dr. Seuss but is not quite ready for Harry Potter.
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Format: Paperback
I am a fifth grade teacher who read this book, one chapter at a time to my students. After each chapter, they had an activity to work on which related to what they had just read. The students had more fun listening to the story as well as doing the actitivies. Each time I reached the end of a chapter, the students would want me to "keep reading" because each chapter would simply leave you "hanging." It is a fast reading book that any young student would enjoy.
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A Kid's Review on January 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
We suggest The Time Warp Trio, Knights of the Kitchen Table to you because it is funny and interesting. There was a magic book called "The Book" that sent Joe, Sam, and Fred back in time. An evil Black Knight wanted to hurt them. A powerful magician named Merlin was jealous of the three boys. It's so fun and exciting; you'll want to pop into the story, just like they did. It's a mix of fantasy and funny history. The author, Jon Scieszka, is extraordinary, he makes the story seem like you're part of it. It will take you off to a magical land. This book is so exciting that you won't want to put it down. The pictures are so hilarious; you'll laugh your head off.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are great books that take you time traveling and teach your kids a little about each period, without the boring facts. They still learn about the people, and how life was, but it's kept interesting, and at their level. My son & I enjoyed them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely ADORE this series for introducing boys to the joys of escaping in a book. I discovered them back in the mid-ninties when I was a high school student tutoring a third grader who was having a tough time reading. These books are SO much fun that they motivated him to work harder and eventually read them on his own. I rediscovered them this past year as I was looking for something boy-oriented for my second grade son to start digging into on his own. He LOVES them. We have 16 books (maybe the whole series?) and in the last couple of weeks he's got through the first nine of them and shows no sign of slowing down. He actually chooses to pick them up and go off to read by himself.

They are funny, interesting, short chapter books that just make reading fun - and they're written by a guy specifically for guys. I'm not sexist and I'm sure girls would like these books too - just as guys would like the various series available that have girls as the protagonists - but when you're a mother of two sons you understand that sometimes boys need boy's things. These books are one of those things.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought these books for my 5th grade students, especially the ones who read on a third or beginning fourth grade level. I love the vocabulary and historical events, they love the action. There's also lots of teaching points although it's a "fun" book, such as organization and narrative structure. I'd recommend this series for those who like Magic Tree House or A-Z mysteries.
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