Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse by Gwyneth Jane Page with Giveaway


THE TRAVEL ADVENTURES OF PJ MOUSE IN CANADA
by Gwyneth Jane Page 
Illustrated by Megan Elizabeth
FreisenPress
Childrens' Fiction
72 pages
ages 6+





PJ Mouse, an adorable little stuffed animal, was lost and alone until young Emily heard his cries for help. Now, along with his new family, PJ gets to travel the world-discovering exciting new places and people along the way!

Come join PJ on his first adventure across Canada as he hikes on a glacier in the Rockies, finds a salt lake in the prairies, and walks on the ocean floor in Nova Scotia.

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MY TIDBITS

This is the story of a cute, little mouse named PJ and his adventures, this time, in Canada. PJ is a small stuffed animal, who falls out of a bag into a puddle, but the owner doesn't notice, leaving him stranded all alone in a big world. The beginning definitely catches the attention and makes the reader feel sorry for PJ. My daughter and I both wanted to take him home. Luckily, a little girl and her mother pop by and grab him up. 

Not only is it sweet to read the tale from a stuffed mouse's view point, but the author did a great job in keeping the world around PJ really in a perspective that was fitting to him--everything big and new. Of course, he talks. This threw my daughter for a loop (8), although I'm not sure why, especially since the little girl speaks back to him. I found the exchanges very fitting for the age group and enjoyed their relationship.

This isn't only a story about a mouse's adventures, but incorporates information about Canadian sights. At times, I found the explanations a little heavy (too many), and there were a couple moments where it felt as if the reader was being talked down to. In general, I enjoyed the information being brought over in this way, and readers get a nice glance at Canada's vastness and variety. Even 'larger' or unfamiliar vocabulary was explained, which is nice to an extent. I caught my daughter drifting away at times.

PJ is a sweet mouse and a character kids can easily sympathize with. He has a good heart, is very curious and gets himself into precarious situations. The illustrations that go with it are done by the author's daughter. Although simple, they fit the story nicely. My daughter and I both enjoyed them. 

Summed up, this is a cute way to help introduce younger readers to the world. This isn't a fast paced adventure, but rather takes a calmer stride. I suggest it as a read-aloud since I'm not sure it will hold first reader's attention. Plus, young readers will have questions, and reading it aloud allows the parents to help with answers right away. But PJ mouse is quiet the character. . .the kind you want to pick up and snuggle. . .with a warm heart and the curiosity to discover everything around him.




THE TRAVEL ADVENTURES OF PJ MOUSE IN QUEENSLAND
by Gwyneth Jane Page
Illustrated by Megan Elizabeth
Childrens' Fiction 
60 pages
ages 6+






PJ Mouse, an adorable little stuffed animal, was lost and alone until young Emily heard his cries for help. Now, along with his new family, PJ gets to travel the world - discovering exciting new places, people, and animals along the way!


​Come join PJ on this, his second adventure, along the coast of Queensland, as he snorkels at the Great Barrier Reef, chats with a Loggerhead turtle in the midst of a great undertaking, and explores the tropical rainforest- until he has to be rescued by one of the local friendly wildlife.





MY TIDBITS


This is the second book in PJ's adventures, and now, the mouse takes a huge trip half-way around the world to Australia. The big plane ride, which is quite the adventure not only for a small mouse like PJ, already has his curiosity and excitement spiked, and does the same to the reader.

I enjoyed this book more than the first one. The adventures have a quicker pace and throw PJ into situation kids themselves would love to dive into. As in the other book, the reader discovers Queensland, learns several facts, and simply gets a nice introduction to this foreign place and the different things there.

The illustrations, done by the author's daughter, are simple but vibrant. My daughter and I both enjoyed looking through them, and found they fit perfectly to PJ adventures.

I find this story fitting as a bedtime read. The chapters are broken down into small adventures, each one concentrating on a specific sight and/or place. Since each one also brings across new things about Queensland, the small breaks make it perfect for short read-aloud sessions. Although I did find this book a little nicer paced than the first one, I still felt as if it were talking down to the reader, and some things were a little overly expressed. Possibly unfamiliar terms are explained, which is nice but sometimes a bit much. It's clear that PJ has a lot to learn. . .but then, he is only a stuffed mouse.

Summed up, this is a fun way for young readers to learn something about Queensland. PJ is adorable and a character kids will sympathize with. The pacing is steady, but that doesn't make this a race. It's a calmer story, which fits well with the topic and the information brought across. I recommend this as a read aloud in chapter increments, perfect as a bedtime story. After reading it, beware because kids will probably want to pack up, get on a plane and fly to Australia too.


All about. . .
Gwyneth Jane Page
and
Megan Elizabeth!!!




Gwyneth Jane Page (Jane), who holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University, has called many countries home. She grew up in such places as England, Peru, the USA, and the Caribbean, and has also lived in Australia and Canada. She now resides in Victoria, BC with her husband and four children. The PJ Mouse books are based on Jane's family trips with the real stuffed animal, PJ, who was found by Emily, Jane's youngest daughter.

Megan Elizabeth, Jane's second oldest daughter, has lived in Canada and Australia and travelled extensively with her family-and PJ. Having been artistic since she was a little girl, illustrating the PJ Mouse books has enabled her to combine her love of travel with her love of art. Megan completed her studies at VanArts and is now building her career as a professional photographer as well as an illustrator. She currently resides in Victoria, BC with her family.

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