Owen, an eleven-year-old boy, falls into a pond and shrinks to the size of the tiny creatures which live there. Most of these are friendly, but others are dangerous; and Owen needs all his courage and resourcefulness to survive his various adventures.
All the animalcules that inhabit the pond (mostly known by their scientific names such as Daphnia, Dugesia Lugubris, Cristatella and Volvox) live and die as they would in real life.
Owen’s first underwater friend (Sedilla, the water flea) teaches him – and the readers of this book – a lot about what goes on in the underwater world, one which is both beautiful and treacherous. As a reviewer of the original edition said, this is “natural history turned into an exciting adventure, which can be enjoyed by a very wide age range”.
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‘Owen’s underwater world is both beautiful and treacherous. Natural history turned into an exciting adventure, much enjoyed by a wide age range’. (Voted among the Pick of the Year by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups).
‘Owen’s adventures among the pond people are credible, vivid and exciting. He sets out on a journey beset with many dangers and few delights, the kind of journey plotted by Homer, Dante and Bunyan for their heroes, and for much the same reason – to prove that mere mortals … may win through against seemingly impossible odds and be chastened or matured by their ordeals. A story mixing fact and fantasy in absolutely equal proportions … Very readable, for every age group’. (Times Literary Supplement).
‘Ever since Alice fell down that rabbit hole .. children’s writers have been experimenting with other worlds in which their young protagonists could adventure. Sad to say most of these have been pretty derivative, a reflection on the paucity of the imagination when confronted with circumstances in which anything is possible. Jane Waller has got over this predicament in a most original and satisfying way’. (Times Educational Supplement).
When her memoir “Me Jane” comes out it will be Jane’s 18th published book. Novels for children, works on ceramics, knitting, social history, the role of women in the Second World War; they’ve been coming out regularly since the first, ‘A Stitch in Time’, helped to launch a revival of interest in hand-knitting in 1972.
And if that wasn’t enough, she has studied painting and sculpture, glass-blowing and ceramics (producing work described by the Arts Editor of the International Herald Tribune as “among the greatest creations of twentieth century pottery”). Now, in her little cottage on the Chequers Estate, she divides her time between writing and drawing, having just finished a memoir of her childhood while working on a final draft of her 5th novel for children, in which two competing groups of Weather Makers (including Hebrides the Witch, German Bight and the strangely indecisive Fitzroy/Finisterre) battle to take decisive control over the world’s weather.