The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean
by Robert Gillespie
Tour dates: Jan 22 to Feb 2, 2018
Content Rating: G
Popcorn and Jellybean had never ventured down the path beyond the big tree. But since they never really did anything exciting, and even though it made them a little nervous at first, they decided it would be a fun adventure for a couple of days. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turned out, if the explorers were not prepared! Join them as they take on new challenges each day, learn how to survive by following the behaviors of the animals they encounter, and go where Mother Nature leads them. And who knows, maybe we could learn as well!
Two extraordinary friends head for a camping adventure and learn that Mother Nature is full of surprises.
Popcorn and Jellybean are great friends, and when they have the chance to go on a several day trip together in the woods, they are ready for adventure. Never going that far into the woods, they're not sure what to expect. Nature supplies a new surprise every day, but these two are ready to learn and experience everything as they go.
The main characters—a popcorn, a jellybean and later, a raisin—drew not only my attention but had my kids raising their eyebrows too. It's an odd pairing, but that adds a little bit of quirky fun. Popcorn and Jellybean are good buddies, who stick together no matter what, and this friendship comes across loud and clear. When they face problems or surprises, they find a way to solve the situation and are willing to listen to each other's ideas. It's a lovely example of true friendship.
The dive into the woods is a journey into nature pure. Jellybean and Popcorn are faced with challenges, which require a little bit of thinking and remembering what they'd learned from adults at home. The solutions are true to life and useful, giving readers the chance to learn along with the two and discover things they might not have known before. Readers will come out of this adventure with hints on how to deal with bees stings, tent building, wild animals and other things as well.
The illustrations are bright and simple, giving kids something to look at while the story is being read. And I would recommend this as read-aloud, especially for kids ages five and up. Readers who are more sure of their reading will be able to tackle this one alone, but the large amount of text on each page might make them shy away. The text is easy to understand, written in larger lettering (a bonus when reading aloud) but does, unfortunately, carry a few editing mistakes. As to the story itself, it moves along at a steady pace and holds more than a couple surprises. It's entertaining and educational. One simply can't think about the characters and their quirks too much, but that's what a child's imagination is all about.
And here he is. . .
Bob has spent more than 13 years as a wildlife conservation educator sharing information and animal encounters with audiences of all ages. He has a passion for teaching about a wide range of topics nature related and loves passing it along to his two sons. His youngest son, Colton, was the inspiration behind The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean, where it all started as a simple bedtime story. Bob currently resides in Carlsbad, California, and works as a professional interpreter guide at a world-renowned conservation organization.
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