#2: Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken
Another book featuring Jackson Jones
Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken (make sure the title is in italics), 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, JacksonÃ¢ÂÂs adventures start when he falls into his auntÃ¢ÂÂs 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 isnÃ¢ÂÂt 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, Ã¢ÂÂMind your roots. The Author will always help you find your way home.Ã¢ÂÂ 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 Ã¢ÂÂThe AuthorÃ¢ÂÂ 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, itÃ¢ÂÂs fast-paced, witty and downright hilarious in places, making it a joy to read because you never know whatÃ¢ÂÂs 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 havenÃ¢ÂÂt 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.
April 17, 2012
Fun for a Tween
Strange things happen to Jackson Jones, age ten-and-a-half. In his first adventure, he got lost in Great Aunt Harriet's hair. More recently, a big umbrella and a bigger wind propelled him to a very strange-and yes, BIG-tree. So big it has an elevator with an operator, Sir Shaw. Jackson only wants to go home, but instead finds himself in a series of adventures on the various branches of the tree where he keeps running into the troll Stimple, Keeper of the Tree, who has random half-rotten food stored in his beard in case he wants a snack.
Jackson meets Burt, a girl elf who's more than a little OCD. She takes care of the garden, and she's certain the only way the Author will like her is if she does a perfect job. Which means Jackson may not sit on the chairs in the gazebo or do more than look at anything at all. In fact, Burt says the Author will love Jackson more if he cleans up a little, and sends him to Miss Pottle, a rather large chicken (see the title of the book) who runs the Tree's beauty shop and wears an excessive amount of make-up.
As you can see, Jackson learns a few important lessons about his relationship with the Author before he finds his way back home. Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken is told in captivating language sure to keep the middle grade reader spell-bound, and the younger child enthralled to be read to. The author (not to be confused with the Author) keeps the story flowing with a breezy, humorous voice and very short chapters (89 of them!) titled intriguing names such as Chapter 32: In Which Burt Shrieks a Lot. You'd Better Cover Your Ears.
January 6, 2012