Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Review: A Rainforest Adventure by Sharon C. Williams

I usually claim that I'm not a huge fan of animal adventures, but recently, I've been having to take a second thought about this opinion. Because...wow! Recently, I've been hit with a few animal tales, which really are quite enjoyable and fun to read. But one thing life has taught me is to never say never. It will always come back to haunt you.

Anyway, today's review not only has a gorgeous cover but holds quite the adventurous story. And best of all...

It's short! (Yep, I'm thinking of those more reluctant readers out there.)


Jasper, Amazon Parrot, Book 1
by Sharon C. Williams
Peculiar Possum Books
Chapter Book
48 pages
ages 7 to 10

Jasper is no ordinary parrot. He lives in the rainforest, which secrets he’s eager to explore. Jasper loves his home and his family, and he's also in charge of his younger brother Willie - a responsibility Jasper takes very seriously.

When he meets Charlie - a spider monkey with a penchant for food and a laid back attitude - he realizes he’s in for an adventure he never thought possible.   Even if this means getting into danger and worrying his mother to no end.

Exploring the boundaries of the forest, Jasper understands that there is more to the world around him. Who are the strange new creatures that have come there? With Willie and Charlie by his side, he will soon find out.



From beginning to end, this tale takes flight on the wings of an exciting adventure in one of the most mysterious and exciting places in the world.

After hatching, Jasper waits to see if the last egg might bring a sibling for him, and sure enough, he gets exactly that what he wished for! His brother is quite the adventurer, and after the two decide they're going to learn how to fly, the fun begins...and the worries for their mother. But Jasper has everything in grip. Sort of. With the friendship of a spider monkey, the group explores the forest around them. And while Jasper tries his best to be an awesome big, responsible brother, there are many things in store for them. 

Jasper is a wonderful parrot. He's got heart, determination, and a bit of curiosity. In other words, he's the perfect bird to set out and discover the world around him...and some very unexpected other things as well. From the very first page, the story grabs and keeps the reader engaged all the way through. The other characters carry quite a bit of personality and make sure there's never a boring moment. But then, with Jasper, his brother and their friend, they do have their hands full. The are moments of tension, a pinch of mystery, and giggles too. It's a lovely mix.

The rainforest setting and it's creatures make for a wonderful setting. The author does a nice job of letting the scenery open up without falling into the danger of offering too many, dragging details. Readers are brought into the exotic world and even learn a little along the way. But the main theme still stays with Jasper and whatever he runs into next. There's also a wonderful sense of friendship, learning about the world and, above all, sibling/family relationships. And these are very nicely woven in.

When I saw this was sold as a chapter book, I was expecting...well...a chapter book. But this one is formatted more like a middle grade read. The text and longer chapter lengths are also a bit heavy for beginner readers and suit more sure readers. So, I wouldn't call this a chapter book. However, this does make for a terrific read-aloud for kids up 4 years of age and more reluctant readers will love the short length. Still, I'd recommend this one to 7-9 year olds, since older readers might not be as intrigued with the gentler themes and plot. 

Oh, and I should add that I love the cover! Also, this would have been a super read to add a few illustrations to.

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