Once Upon A Tim (Book 1)

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Once Upon A Tim by Stuart Gibbs is a funny and entertaining story for middle grade readers. It’s the first book in a series, which currently consists of four books. Full of humor and illustrations, this is an engaging story from beginning to end.

My Overview

Tim is a peasant boy in the Kingdom of Wyld. He comes from a long line of peasants, and while that suits his family and ancestors fine, he wishes to be something more. Unfortunately, the only way a peasant could change his life, is to become a knight. So, when Princess Grace is captured by the stinx, Tim and his friend Belinda rise to the occassion by offering to be knights and take part in rescuing the princess. This is finally Tim’s chance to change his life of peasantry!

Tim and Belinda (pretending to be a boy) go on a rescue adventure, along with Prince Ruprecht, Nerlim (the wizard), and Ferkle (the village idiot). Soon enough, it becomes obvious the prince isn’t as brave as everyone in the kingdom believes him to be. It’s up to Tim, with Belinda’s help, to get them through the treacherous route as they traveled by horse to the Lair of the Stinx. Fortunately he’s clever and brave enough to be the lead of the rescue mission.

As the quest to rescue Princess Grace continues, we learn about the characters as they encounter many challenges along the way. We also learn a lot of new vocabulary words along the way, since the IQ Booster words are sprinkled throughout the story. For each IQ Booster word, a definition is given, along with a sample (and silly) sentence to explain how to use the word in a sentence.

My Recommendation

This is my first book by this author, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. The engaging storyline and illustrations, along with the short chapters, made it perfect as a read aloud. One of the benefits of reading aloud to children, is the opportunity to help them grow their vocabulary. I really appreciated the focus this book placed on that. I recommend this book to all who enjoy humorous fantasy stories.

This story reminded me of the Ickabog. If you’ve enjoyed story, you’ll probably enjoy this book.

Have you read this or any other books by this author?

Looking for more chapter books for read alouds? Try my 12 Delightful Chapter Books to Read Aloud.