Bob and the River of Time

By: James Garner


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 270 x 190mm
Pages : 72
ISBN : 9781785831126
Format: Paperback
Published: August 2016

Meet Bob as he journeys along the magical River Mumbles, which flows through Grumbledown. The river takes Bob on an unexpected, topsy-turvy journey through the seasons, where he encounters a host of different animals and plants. Bob learns to keep smiling, even though he’s not sure what’s around the next bend.

Bob and the River of Time introduces children to the beauty and wonder of wildlife and nature. Bob discovers the changing seasons, different types of weather and a huge variety of plant and animal life. On Bob’s journey, he sees a host of different animals, creepy crawlies, birds, flowers, vegetables and trees. The book is packed with interesting facts, meaning children can learn more as they discover the different critters. The beautiful illustrations and attention to detail ensure that each time you open the book you’ll discover something new. There is a key in the back of the book to show you where all the colourful characters are hiding, in case you’re really stuck!

Join Bob as he learns to be mindful and maintain a positive outlook, even when he isn’t sure where the river is taking him. The calming flow of the story will send children to a place of tranquil and inspired imagination. The story is ideal for relaxing bedtime reading, but hunting for and learning about all of the creatures will provide hours of additional fun. Searching for the many creatures and plants within the book is a great way to focus a child’s mind, especially if their mind has a tendency to wander.

Join Bob as he learns one of the most simple, eloquent and powerful lessons life can teach. Bob and the River of Time is a fantastical, educational picture book written and illustrated by James Garner. It is a charming, colourful, fun short story ideal for entertaining and inspiring children.

Suitable for children aged 3 years and upwards.

“An adrenaline-fuelled white-knuckle ride.”

- Parsley the Snail

“There isn’t a single car in the whole book so it’s a thumbs up from me!”

- Gemma the Hedgehog

“I was really enjoying it up until I got eaten.”

- Alex the Worm

‘Bob and the river of time’ has been shortlisted for the Made for Mums Awards 2018!

Picture for author James Garner

James Garner

James Garner is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and decorator. He lives in Suffolk where he pursues his passion of creativity. He can often be found drawing or painting, whether it is houses or beautiful children's books.


  1. A lovely, and wonderfully illustrated, book that tells the story of Bob who lives in Grumbledown Lodge, and takes a magical boat trip through the seasons where we can spot and talk about all the different animals and plants that we see. In the back of the book, is an illustrated spotters' guide to all the animals and plants in the story so we can identify them correctly. Highly recommended. And highly relevant in times when getting outside and appreciating the wonder of the natural world, and learning how to look after it, is so important.-‹
  2. This wonderful story, beautifully illustrated with an endearing cast of characters, manages to cleverly combine storytelling with activity and learning in a deft and delightful way. My birthday present quandaries have all been solved!
  3. -‹Read the review here.
  4. This is the sort of book that you stumble upon and are so very glad you did. The book takes Bob on an adventure down the river, where he sees all of the different seasons and meets the plants and animal life he finds there. 

    It's a beautifully illustrated book and each page is packed with details. My son and I have looked at it many times now and we always see something different. Bob doesn't know where he's going but he goes with the flow of the river and it leads to a calm, imaginative and positive story which is perfect for quiet time.

    We all really love this book in our house. I knew the instant that it arrived that it would be a hit and that's definitely the case. We've picked it up so many times and both children and adults have pored over it, both separately and together. We highly recommend it. 
  5. This is a beautiful book, one that will be looked at and read many times. There is so much to see and do within this book of stunning illustrations. A beautifully laid out book with lots to do other than reading, both my girls love Bob and his friends. This is going to be a book that lasts a lifetime.

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  6. Beautiful story, full of nature, animals, trees and flowers. The main character is Bob, who is going on a -˜strange' adventure. It's a lovely book with many activities and hours of fun. My daughter loves this book, she wants to read it every night.

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  7. Beautiful illustrations and a lovely story of changing seasons during one man's journey down a river on his little boat. We loved reading this together with our 4 & 5 year olds and the "meet the cast" section at the end of the book is a great addition. Our boys learned quite a few new facts about the different animals on the pages and found it very fun to try and spot them on the pages. I think we spent a good hour going back and forth finding all the creatures. Definitely would recommend this book!

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  8. What an absolute gem of a book! We only received this today, but my son has looked at it so many times already and is STILL discovering new things. Packed to the brim with wonderful illustrations and interesting facts. A simple story of Bob, who one day goes for a ride in his rowing boat and encounters a time travelling adventure throughout the seasons, meeting a variety of creatures and plants. The detail absolutely astounds me and even I have learned new things. Big, huge, massive thumbs up!

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website. 
  9. This is an absolutely delightful book telling the story of Bob on his time travel through the seasons, so beautifully illustrated with so much content you see something new every time you look at a page. It inspires children to discuss the changing seasons and what happens in nature, so very highly recommended. We love this book already.

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  10. Really interesting, different book. We found it to be a perfect bedtime book, it encourages mindfulness and for the kids to take in the environment. Wonderful illustrations and packed full of info. Not the normal kids book. Try it!

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  11. This book was great, with really nice illustrations. The story of bob, who travels through all the seasons on his boat. There's so much to see and learn, this can be read over and over and you will spot something different. We liked all the extras, meeting the characters and trying to find them all. Great overall.

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  12. Daisy, 6, read this to her brother, 3, and enjoyed the pictures and spotting something different each time. A sweet and easy to follow story they could enjoy together.

    You can read the review on the Toppsta website.
  13. This is a really interesting book. It is a book of two halves really. The first half tells the story of Bob, travelling by boat along the River Mumbles, observing the changing seasons and the different weather systems they bring, and the wide variety of animal and plant life.

    Each double page is crammed full of interesting information and can be used to spark discussions about the natural world and transitions between the seasons. This is a lovely gentle tale; idyllic even.

    The second half of the book is the information half. If you wanted to use the story to promote discussions about wildlife then this half not only contains a 'cast of characters' complete with information about each one, but also a visual guide to where they are all hiding in the story. This adds longevity to the story and makes it an interesting reference book for inquisitive young minds.
  14. James Garner has written and illustrated an enthralling story based on the adventures of Bob and a whole range of animals, birds, flowers, trees, vegetables and the exciting creepy crawlies. The thought provoking text and marvellous illustrations capture the thoughts and imaginations of both the listeners and the story teller. Listeners become engrossed as the text brings to life the wonders of the countryside and the seasons of the year. The reader's knowledge and understanding of a vast range of facts are expertly supported in the -˜where are they hiding' section which makes for active participation and enhances discussion.

    This is a truly outstanding contribution to promote children's knowledge of natural science and the countryside. Above all it creates an enthusiasm and excellent visual support for reading, discussion and practical activities to extend knowledge and understanding of nature.
  15. We found the book charming, educational and certain to inspire many children with a deeper a fascination with the world around them. Both James Garner and Crown House Publishing should be proud of what you've created.
  16. A great read for young and old that captures your imagination and takes you on Bob's journey with him. The detail and colour on each page will captivate all audiences and entertain for hours - so much more fun than looking for Wally!

    Full of animals and characters which are so fun that kids will surely relate to and learn from them. Children can learn a lot about animals, the seasons and the weather.

    The story was so soothing and it is perfect for bedtime.

    All in all, a great book.
  17. Follow Bob as he journeys down the river and through a year, follow the changes in the weather and wildlife and learn how precious and fragile our riverbanks and countryside are.

    This beautifully illustrated and narrated book shows the wonder and beauty of the seasons. It contains so much detail you will still be spotting new things after the twentieth read through.

    The cast of characters are fully introduced at the end of the story. This encourages young readers to find these characters - woodpeckers, swallows, ants and kingfishers - on their next countryside or riverside walk. Not only that, it taught this parent the difference between a coot and a moorhen.

    You and your children will treasure this book for years to come. This is learning and this is fun.
  18. Children and adults alike will love the whimsical, charming tale of Bob and his meandering journey through the seasons in his little boat. James Garner has created a book that brilliantly celebrates the wonders of nature, the countryside and life's simple pleasures. And, as he's an artist too, he has gorgeously captured the ever-changing flora and fauna of the seasons in richly coloured, vibrant landscapes.

    Aside from the wonderful story and illustrations, the book has an educational side. At the back, kids can discover interesting little facts about the many quirky-looking creatures hidden within the pages - got to love Gassy Gary, Whiffy William and Pungent Peter, the stinkbugs.

    Bob and the River of Time is a delightful tale - old-fashioned in its telling, modern in its execution - that tells us to appreciate the beauty of life around us. It's a book sure to put a smile on anyone's face. In the words of my five-year-old boy, -˜It's very, very, very fantastic.'
  19. My views: I thought that Bob and The River of Time was a beautifully illustrated heart-warming story. The writing had a gentle rhythm and flow to it which made it easy for my children to understand. The message of the story around life being similar to the river journey with plenty of things to stop and wonder at, along with the certainty of the passing seasons offering new beginnings, was really lovely and reassuring for bedtime reading. The illustrations are just stunning - amazing colours, variety and attention to detail and also a strong sense of nature and wildlife which both my children and I really enjoyed. There are so many children's stories now that I groan at when I have to read them. This book is different - it's a modern classic that I believe both parents and children can enjoy. 

    My children's views: My children thought that the book was very colourful with lots of interesting things to look at. They particularly liked the “unusual secret” referred to at the beginning which they said was exciting and made them want to hear more.  My 7 year old was comfortable reading it out loud and both children were totally engaged and interested for the whole story. They liked the “nice gardens” and seemed to really enjoy counting the animals and plants on each page. They also loved the facts and figures about the wildlife that Bob had encountered on his journey. I explained to them if they had understood what I felt was the meaning of the book (referred to above) and it was clear that they had. It was a definite hit.

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