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SYNOPSIS:Jem, the original Fowey Pirate, is in Cornwall again. A bird spotting adventure unexpectedly becomes a matter of life or death as he tumbles into trouble on a cliff face and once again, it’s Jem to the rescue. He might not be the best bird spotter in Cornwall but he definitely keeps a cool head in tricky situations.
This is a charming tale of one boy’s love of adventure, Cornwall and birds, ideal for readers aged 6-7 and an entertaining picture book for younger children to enjoy at storytime.
Jem’s Clifftop Adventure follows the very successful Jem the Fowey Pirate – a best-selling children’s book in Fowey. Author Jennifer Bell takes the reader on a fun-packed escapade that is as much about the attractions of one of Cornwall’s most famous towns as it is about one boy’s resilience and curiosity. From Readymoney Cove and St Catherine’s Castle to choughs, cormorants and jackdaws, the author shares both her love of the area and her local knowledge through Jem’s journey. Holiday visitors can even take their children on their very own ‘Jem’s Adventure’ in the town of Fowey, including a ferry-boat trip to Polruan and a visit to the Coastwatch Lookout.
MY THOUGHTS: What struck me as both wonderful and refreshing is Jem’s relationship with his Grandfather. Although his main ‘goal’ is to explore, he still knows that when he gets into a pickle, he can rely on his Grandfather for help. Too often, Grandparents are a secondary character, an afterthought, in kid’s books. It was nice to see Grandfather as a heroic man.
While Jem does get into a bit of mischief when he knows he shouldn’t, he redeems himself with a selfless act of helping others. Again, a fabulous and timeless message for any age. Our author also includes ornithology. Three very distinct birds are mentioned. Jem searches for each, finds, then identifies them. Young readers who may not be familiar with Europe will be introduced to the town of Cornwall. This allows for a teachable moment if adults point out Cornwall on a map and discuss where Jem lives. Reading time can extend indefinitely as children and guardians explore Jem’s home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer and her husband came to live in Cornwall in the early days of their marriage and set up a pottery. Her first book – ‘Pot Luck – living the dream in the West Country’ describes this adventure. She has written for most of her life, starting with making up stories at bedtime for her little sister. Now with a cupboard full of writing, mainly for children, her retirement project is to sort through this pile of stories and find one or two to publish
With great, colorful illustrations and easy-to-follow format, ‘Jem’s Clifftop Adventure’ is a solid, three-star book.
*Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.
**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
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In its simplest reading, Everybody’s Somewhere is a book about perspective — Everybody—moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, friends, and people you’ve never met—is somewhere in the world, doing something right now, even if you can’t see them. And this is a very important lesson for kids to learn.
The book also includes people from all over the world with difference interests, cultures, and abilities. People you know and people you don’t. In current times, it is very important for children — indeed, for everyone — to understand that people next door or around the globe are just like us. Kids need to feel connected to others in our diverse but increasingly interconnected world. To quote the book “Everywhere there’s someone underneath a star,” and there’s room for everyone, including them.
There’s also a nod to military families when talking about seeing a loved one after a long separation.’
MY THOUGHTS: ‘Everybody’s Somewhere’ is a great gift idea for the holidays. With so many families having to be apart, children need affirmation they they are loved. I loved seeing the illustration of the reunited military family. If you are a military family or know of one, this book will be great to share. That way both the child and loved one will each have a copy to relate to. Perhaps it could be read to the child by the service member.
I was also very pleased to see the depiction of a child in a wheelchair participating in a race. She was competing alongside everyone else instead of being on the sidelines. Fantastic! Young readers need to see more of that kind of inclusion and acceptance.
Our author follows an easy-to-read rhyme format that will keep kids’ attention. We all know how they love to rhyme! I would rank the book for ages up to 3rd grade. I love the thought of helping kids feel connected to those who can’t be with them for various reasons. Hopefully, it will help young readers ease their anxiety and calm their worries. A huge plus for the book is the illustrations. They are beautiful, colorful and definitely will have children pausing on each page to view all the incredible details included by Alea Marley.
All-in-all, I give ‘Everybody’s Somewhere’ three stars.
*Pic and synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher
**We received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
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