Book Spotlight: Mackenzie Goes Adventuring: J.L. Baumann


SYNOPSIS: J.L. Baumann’s new book, Mackenzie Goes Adventuring, takes place in the happy town of Snookton, full of Snookies, snooking all around. The main character, Mackenzie, decides to take a different path home after school one day. After convincing another friend to adventure with her through the enchanted woods, they soon find out why their teacher told them to “stay on the right path.” From the dangers of the Snarfling Snarfle to the delights of the Snookberry jelly roll at the Snookie Exchange, they encounter a whole new world. But after having met a whole new set of friends and learning the value of paying attention, they still have to find their way home.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Mackenzie’ is about 90 pages long. Although the rhyming format is catchy, it is way too long for pre-k to K readers. They simply can’t sit still that long. However, it is perfectly suited for the elementary school scene. The illustrations are fabulous. Mackenzie and her friends are larger-than-life on every page.

The basic message is simple enough for young readers to understand. ‘Do what you’re told’. While their adventure initially seems fantastic, they soon learn how dangerous it can be for them to wander off on their own, with no adults. While the story’s villains are ‘mean’, they’re not too over-the-top that nightmares will be a problem. They are more like cartoon ‘bad guys’. It can become a teachable moment for the adult reading to or with the child. Avoiding ‘bad guys’ is a good thing. Stay with a trusted adult.

My only concern was the Shaman character. He took the story in a direction I wasn’t expecting. I felt that Mackenzie, despite her Snookie world, would have had a more real world feel without all the additional magic. It just didn’t strike the right chord with me.

If your kids are big into rhyming books and characters with off-the-wall names, Mackenzie would be a good choice for you. I give it 3 stars.
Available via http://www.snookton.com. Pic & Synopsis belong only to the Author & Publisher.
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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