Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mr. Choli's River Trip, by Chris Wardle

Pages: 87
Age Range: 8-12 years
Rating (1 to 5 *): ****

Book Review:

The time of humans has past and the animals have taken over. Out of necessity, they have learned to band together and form colonies so they can help each other survive in an environment that has vastly changed. In the Daphne Wood colony, the animals are learning that the hot, dry winds that now plague their home are making too harsh of an environment for many of their plants to grow and thrive. As a result, some of the animals face starvation if something isn’t done.

The animals gather together and determine that an expedition is necessary to find new plants that might survive better in the new climate. Mr. Choli, a cat and the colony’s resident detective, is put in charge of the expedition. Along with a paranoid parrot and a host of other amusing animals, Mr. Choli sets sail up the river to see what he can find. What he finds are new friends, new foods, and several fun adventures to share with his friends back home.

Meanwhile, the folks back at Daphne Wood have been working on ways to make the plants they are already familiar with grow better. However, just when things seem to be going well, a huge forest fire threatens to destroy everything they have worked so hard for.

Chris Wardle has written a whole series of children’s books about the various adventures of the animals in Daphne Wood. They explore the impact on the environment caused by humans along with how that impact affects the remaining animals. The stories teach the reader about surviving in the face of adversity and working with others to make things happen.

Some areas of the book could use some development—we spend a lot of time reading about things that we missed, some of which we might like to read in more detail. I also found the sheer number of characters overwhelming and couldn’t remember who was what kind of animal in order to keep the picture in my head. However, Mr. Choli’s River Trip was a cute story, the characters were likeable and several scenes were quite funny. A fun read for kids.

Tomorrow, we will learn a little more about Chris Wardle in his author interview. Come back to check it out!

An author-provided copy of the book was provided for this review.

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