Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Travels of PJ Mouse review AND giveaway!

I know a lot of us parents really struggle to find age appropriate, reading level appropriate, fun books for our kids to read. It really is a struggle and it can be just as frustrating for your kids as it is you. Today I'm reviewing two books by author Gwyneth Jane Page. I read book one and two as a series but they can certainly be stand alone reads.

Definitely age appropriate for kids anywhere between seven and ten. The reading level is about second grade. My second grade (seven year old) Jackson read these with ease to me as part of his at home reading time.

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse - in Canada
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.

First, let's talk about the illustrations. Jackson pointed out that they look like someone colored them in with colored pencil, and he really enjoyed that. Also, the illustrations really complimented the text itself, which sometimes in chapter books for kids they are mostly just little doodles with no real point to them. These definitely go with the story and make it a fun read.

The story itself was pretty adorable. We start off by meeting PJ Mouse (he isn't a real mouse but rather, a stuffed little mouse), who fell out of a bag and into a puddle. Everyone walks by him except for Emily, who spots the poor little mouse soaking wet and cold. Emily's mother agrees that they can bring him home and that's the beginning of his grand adventure. In book one PJ visits lots of places in Canada such as Niagara Falls and Quebec City. But he also visits a glacier and the ocean floor (which was Jackson's favorite chapter). The only thing Jackson didn't like is some of the wording, or how things are phrased, are a bit different than what he's used to, but that's on account that the author studied and lived in several places around the world. If anything, it was a fun way to explore how students learn different ways to say something in English, depending on where you are.

You can find this book on Amazon, it would be a really great stocking stuffer for the little reader on your shopping list!

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse - in Queensland

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 ha to be rescued by one of the local friendly wildlife.

I'm going to start by telling you that Jackson really loved this book. He said this one was by far, his favorite of the two. In this book, PJ gets to go boogie boarding, which Jackson asked me why there were boogers on a board, which made me laugh and we had to take a break from reading. It also talks about the Great Barrier Reef, which they studied briefly in first grade so he knew about that and had a general idea of what PJ was seeing. 

Another thing about these books we liked was the last chapter in both books PJ talking with the cat. In book one, he meets the household cat, but in book two it's a chat with the cat. Jackson didn't think it was so believable that PJ and the cat would be friends but they truly are and PJ recounts his adventures to the cat who misses him when he's gone. In fact, the cat uses PJ as a sort of pillow, until the cat finds Star Bear, which Jackson thought was hilarious. 

What I really liked about the book is that there is so much fun information about things we otherwise might not learn about. Jackson liked reading how sea turtles lay their eggs and agreed with Emily that they do, indeed, look like ping pong balls. 

Overall? We really liked this book as well. This is a really great series and we look forward to seeing more soon! You can find this book on Amazon as well, and I really think any child would enjoy these. It's a fun little book with a stuffed mouse who comes alive. Who doesn't love that? 

Meet the author and illustrator:  

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
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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.

Connect with Jane on her website, Twitter, or Facebook


Claire said...

I'm so gutted that all my friends kids are grown and I can't buy them books like this any more. Now its all teen angst and vampires sucking each others faces off lol

Chrissy said...

Aw, this is so cute! If Leonie were younger this would be the perfect read, but she is busy reading the Twilight Saga right now, I guess the days of PJ Mouse are long gone for us. Happy Thursday - great review!

Unknown said...

Hi. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful review. I'm glad to hear Jackson enjoyed the books. Never thought about the term 'boogie boarding' before, that is just what it is called in Australia. :) In case you are interested, my 3rd book, on England, came out a couple weeks it I continue to develop the relationship between the cat, PJ, and Star Bear. Again, thank you. Sincerely, Gwyneth

Shann Eva said...

These books sound awesome .Even though my son is only 6, I'd love to read them to him. He loves learning about new places.

Tawni said...

Oh, so, so cute!! I wish the giveaway was open internationally!! These books are so stinkin' adorable.


traveler said...

This book would be ideal and delightful for my 4 grandchildren who love reading and books. thanks for this great feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

What an adorable and precious book which is a real treasure. How irresistible. My grandson would love it. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

A Life of Love and Joy said...

These look like really cute books! I'm a reading teacher and I would love to sit down on the classroom carpet with a bunch of students and read this to them!

Mom on the Move said...

This looks like an adorable book! I love that it takes place somewhere outside the US. Great learning opportunity!

Branson said...

Oh these look super cute!! I would love to win this! My little boy loves books about travel and different countries!

Paulita said...

I have a one year old and we are starting to build up our library. We would love to add this to it.

Unknown said...

My girls would love these - especially book 1. We live about 5 minutes from Niagara Falls and they always get a kick out of seeing things in books that are almost in our backyard!

Miss Nutralicious said...

Cute books! I would love to read these to my nieces when they come to town. We struggle to find books that everyone likes (girls 8 and 5, plus my 9 month old), but PJ mouse looks appropriate for everyone!