Category Archives: Adventure

The Hero of Little Street

By Gregory Rogers

Published by Roaring Book Press

Copyright © 2012

“The Hero of Little Street” is a colorful romp through art and time with a boy and a dog.

A young boy is playing in Trafalgar Square in front of the National Museum of London when, after an incident with a soccer ball and the three older boys who it belongs to, he quickly runs into said museum to hide. While there he spies many works of art. Little does he know he will soon become part of the works of art; at least for a little while anyway.

“The Hero of Little Street” takes us on a brief trip through the National Museum of London with the feature being the world and art of painter Jan Vermeer. The concept of travelling through art is interesting, but the delivery is uninspiring. As a wordless book the illustrations need to tell the story and keep the interest of the reader. The comic strip style does a good job of telling the story, but the art itself, while nice, is a little too subdued to keep my interest over multiple readings.

So you or your child will probably enjoy reading this book once, but requests for an encore are unlikely.

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Filed under Adventure, Art, Children's Picture Books, Fantasy, Historical, Nature/Animals

The Dodsworth Adventures

The Dodsworth Adventures Series

By Tim Egan

Published by Houghton Mifflin

Dodsworth in New York © 2007

Dodsworth in Paris © 2008

Dodsworth in London © 2009

 

A Ducky little set of books that take children on a whirlwind trek from New York to Paris, and from Paris to London. Children will be captivated by this Mouse and Duck comedy team.

Dodsworth is getting ready to go on an adventure to Europe, but before he does he needs a hot breakfast. He stops at Hodges’ Cafe to have some of the best pancakes in the world; here he meets Hodges’ crazy duck. This duck is going to give Dodsworth more of an adventure than he ever planned for.

In “Dodsworth in New York” the duck hitches a ride with Dodsworth to New York City and he ends up chasing the duck all over the city. He runs up Wall Street and down Fifth Avenue, past Yankee Stadium and into the Statue of Liberty. In the end they both end up on a boat bound for Europe. “In Paris” Dodsworth and the Duck stay in the Chateau de Paris, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, and visit the Eifel tower all the while participating in some very French activities like eating, painting, and riding a bicycle. And finally, “in London” Dodsworth and the duck get separated and Dodsworth confuses the Queen’s royal duck for Hodges’ duck and follows her around London on a big red bus learning things about London Bridge and Big Ben. In the end Dodsworth and the Duck get the immeasurable privilege of meeting the Queen of England.

The Dodsworth Adventures are a fun way to introduce children 6 and up to the cultural and geographic landmarks of New York, Paris, and London. In addition Egan does a wonderful job of weaving different forms of transportation in to these stories which will make for even more conversation. Egan’s illustrations match the stories with there simple, cute, and quirky characters and images. Each book features that crazy duck creating some comic situation for the straight man, Dodsworth, to navigate, and in each book the mouse and the duck grow closer together.

One thing that stands out most in these books though, is that while travel can be fun, it is even more enjoyable when there is someone to share it with, even if that someone is a crazy, troublesome duck. I can’t wait to see what these to do when they get to Rome.

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Filed under Adventure, Children's Picture Books, Friends, Geography, I Can Read/Young Chapter Books, Nature/Animals, People & Places, Transportation, Travel