Tom McLaughlin’s The Story Machine has one clear and simple message: stories come in all shapes and sizes.
One day Elliot finds a machine… well actually it’s a typewriter but he doesn’t know that. Elliot examines the machine every which way until he accidentally sits on the keys and discovers the machine makes words. Unfortunately, Elliot isn’t very good at making words. He types words like: “eyescream, jilly bums and sosiges.” Elliot tries and tries but he can’t make the words come out right.
What he can do, however, is make pictures with the letters.
The pages of Elliot’s story wind around him, wrapping and twisting and zigging and zagging all across the pages of the book. Elliot makes so many pictures that the typewriter breaks. Good thing Elliot finds a paintbrush.
In this simple and imaginative story, McLaughlin’s charismatic illustrations dominate the page and convey the majority of the story, which is fitting. In this short book directed at quite young children McLaughlin’s message rings loud and true. A recommended read.