Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken, written by Jenn Kelly, is the second installment in the Jackson Jones series of books. In the first book, Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, An Elf and a Very Stinky Fish, Jackson’s adventures start when he falls into his aunt’s hair (yes, you read that right). In this book, it all starts when Jackson loses his temper after his little brother trashes his notebook, his special notebook, the one with all his stories and drawings in it. After Jackson starts yelling about it, his mother sends him outside to clean the pool so he can cool off. While cleaning the pool, a fierce wind kicks up and hail starts pouring down, threatening the patio umbrella. When Jackson tries to rescue the umbrella, a big gust of wind opens it up and carries him into the air, much like Mary Poppins.

Jackson is taken through the skies until he eventually lands in a big tree. But, this isn’t any ordinary tree, this tree is full of life. First, he meets a troll named Stimple, whose job is to collect the garbage from all the floors in the tree (Yes, you read that right.). Jackson asks Stimple how to get out of the tree so he can go home, but Stimple is busy and tells Jackson he will have to wait until he (Stimple) has finished his work. In the meantime, Jackson has many adventures.

He meets an elf, the elevator man, and several chickens, including a rather large one. Through his adventures, Jackson learns the importance of family. As Sir Shaw says, “Mind your roots. The Author will always help you find your way home.” The elf is a cousin of the elf in the first book and the elevator man, Sir Shaw, worked in the Book Room in the first book. And, God is “The Author” as he was in the first book.

The pencil sketch illustrations by Ariane Elsammak are expressive and are used in every chapter.

What I Like: As with the first book in the series, I love the writing style, it’s fast-paced, witty and downright hilarious in places, making it a joy to read because you never know what’s going to happen next.

I also like the short chapters. There are a lot of chapters, but many of them are no longer than two pages, and many of them are just a paragraph or two. You can read through a chapter in no time at all.

What I Dislike: Like the first book, this one is entertaining, very readable, and conveys a good message. But, if you haven’t read the first book, you might be confused about the references to The Author and the Book Room.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: 9-12.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2011; ISBN: 9780310722939; Hardcover, 256 pages, $11.99.

Buy now at ChristianBook $9.49!

Or buy at Amazon.com $11.99.

Special Info: This is the second book in the Jackson Jones series. Read our review of the first book, Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish. Visit the author’s website. Visit the illustrator’s website.

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