Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: The Travelling Restaurant: Jasper's voyage in three parts by Barbara Else

In the reign of Lady Gall (Provisional Monarch of Fontania), the word ‘magic’ is forbidden...

When 12 year old Jasper Ludlow’s parents flee the city, he gets left behind and finds refuge on The Travelling Restaurant, a sailing ship captained by old Dr Rocket and crewed by feisty Polly.

Jasper faces challenges, adventures, storms and hungry pirates. Should he go in search of his parents, or his lost baby sister? Who should he trust? And why is Lady Gall hunting him?

The world needs more feel-good stories right now and The Travelling Restaurant is definitely a good one.

When his family flees his town in order to escape Lady Gall, Jasper gets left behind ala Kevin McCallister in Home Alone 1 and 2. He ends up on The Travelling Restaurant and, along with the ship's captain Dr. Rocket and the ship's cook Polly, he sails off in search of his family. Along the way, he must dodge Lady Gall and her minions.

The Travelling Restaurant has an old-school vibe reminiscent of the Boxcar Children and Encyclopedia Brown series. Of course, that could just be me, but I felt like I was reading an old series that made me feel like a kid again.

Since majority of the story takes place on The Travelling Restaurant, food descriptions abound. As a fan of food-related books, movies and television shows, this was a big bonus for me. The author makes use of parentheses and changing font size to insert side comments or to emphasize certain points, which was a good idea and makes me think that this would be a fun book to read aloud.

Thanks to NetGalley and Gecko Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of The Travelling Restaurant is on March 1, 2012.

  1. The plot. Though you can kind of guess where the story is going, there are still enough surprises and twists to keep it from being boring.
  2. The food. What's not to like about sentences like these?
    There were cream cakes, cream pies and creamy milk shakes. There was runny cream in jugs, and bowls of whipped cream.
  3. The dialogue and writing style.
  1. Some people might find the style a little bit old-school or boring.
"Decide while you're packing?" Jasper suggested.
"Decide while we're packing!" said Dr. Ludlow as if he'd thought of it himself.
  1. You like action-adventure books.
  2. You like food.
  3. You like stories about princesses, princes and magic.



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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