Magic Ships is a short and lavishly illustrated book for young children, published in 1943 by Collins. It begins with Robin and his sister Jane being taken for a tour of the R. M. S. Queen Mary on the River Clyde in Glasgow. Robin is looking for material for the history essay assigned to him by Snooker, his history teacher. The children’s Uncle Archie is the Chief Engineer of the ship. He tells them they can play in a room full of toys. A sailor doll comes to life and turns Robin into a cabin boy and Jane into a ship’s cat before sending them on a series of adventures in time. The children are first transported to Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria. When he meets Columbus, Robin blurts out things about his future and the crew mistake him for a wizard and throw them off the ship. They then find themselves on board the Golden Hind and meet Sir Francis Drake. More adventures follow on other ships until they find themselves back in the playroom on the Queen Mary as Robin and Jane again, where they are reunited with their father and uncle. Robin is happy that he has enough material to do at least ten essays.