| ||Tales of Magic #2|
by Edward Eager
First publication: Feb 1956
The children of the first book are now grown up, but Martha and her husband have children of their own, Roger and Ann, who spend a summer with their cousins Jane and Mark (sprung from Katharine). It was that summer that the oldest of Roger’s toy soldiers came to life and took them all to the age of Robin Hood, Ivanhoe, chivalry, and knights.
It happened just the other day, to a boy named Roger.
Most of it happened to his sister Ann, too, but she was a girl and didn
t count, or at least that
s what Roger thought, or at least he thought that in the beginning.
Part of it happened to his cousins Jack and Eliza, too, but they didn
t come into it till later.
| ||Tales of Magic #3|
Magic by the Lake
by Edward Eager
First publication: Apr 1957
Three weeks after their adventures in the first book, Katharine, Mark, Jane, and Martha talk to an ill-temperedturtle who explains how the magic of the lake can take them on an adventure to the time of Ali Baba. Oddly enough, at one point the gang must be rescued by another group of time-traveling children (who will be familiar to the readers of the second book).
“Don’t go saying I did it!” said the turtle. “Don’t come complaining to me! People who go around making wishes without looking to see what magic beings are listening can just take the consequences!”
“Oh, we’re not complaining,” said Katharine quickly. “We think it’s awfully nice of you. We’re grateful. You’ve been very obliging. Thank you very much.”
“Humph!” said the turtle.
“Magic’s just about all we needed to make things just about perfect,” said Jane.
“Ha!” said the turtle. “That’s what you think. And a lot you know about it! But of course you couldn’t be sensible, could you, and order magic by the pound, for instance, or by the day? Or by threes, the good old-fashioned way? Or even by halves, the way you did before?”
| ||Tales of Magic #4|
The Time Garden
by Edward Eager
First publication: Mar 1958
Janet found this one for me, and it was the first of the series that I read. The story returns to Roger, Ann, Jane, and Mark from the second book. This time, a grumpy garden toad tells them of the magical powers of thyme. The magic takes the quartet back to the American Revolution, the time of American slavery, and an encounter with their own mothers and uncles (which we’ve already seen from the older generation’s point of view in the third book). There’s also a cameo by the children from E. Nesbit’s The Phoenix and the Carpet.
Because what if it did happen like that, and the young Jane and Mark and Katharine and Martha came back with them to modern times? He could think of two ways it might work out. They might take the place of their grown-up selves, and there wouldn’t be any grown-up Jane and Mark and Katharine and Martha any more, and that would be awful. Because nice as the small Martha was, as a parent she just wouldn’t do.
Or else there Jane and Mark and Katharine and Martha would be, and there their grown-up selves would be, too, and they might bump right into each other. And that would be like those horror stories where people go walking down long hallways and meet themselves coming in the other direction. And everybody goes mad in the end, and no wonder!
Tales of Magic #5: Magic or Not? by Edward Eager, Feb 1959 [no time travel ]
Tales of Magic #6: The Well-Wishers by Edward Eager, Mar 1960 [no time travel ]