Strange things happen to Jackson Jones, age ten-and-a-half. In his first adventure, he got lost in Great Aunt Harriet’s hair. More recently, a big umbrella and a bigger wind propelled him to a very strange–and yes, BIG–tree. So big it has an elevator with an operator, Sir Shaw. Jackson only wants to go home, but instead finds himself in a series of adventures on the various branches of the tree where he keeps running into the troll Stimple, Keeper of the Tree, who has random half-rotten food stored in his beard in case he wants a snack.
Jackson meets Burt, a girl elf who’s more than a little OCD. She takes care of the garden, and she’s certain the only way the Author will like her is if she does a perfect job. Which means Jackson may not sit on the chairs in the gazebo or do more than look at anything at all. In fact, Burt says the Author will love Jackson more if he cleans up a little, and sends him to Miss Pottle, a rather large chicken (see the title of the book) who runs the Tree’s beauty shop and wears an excessive amount of make-up.
As you can see, Jackson learns a few important lessons about his relationship with the Author before he finds his way back home. Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken is told in captivating language sure to keep the middle grade reader spell-bound, and the younger child enthralled to be read to. The author (not to be confused with the Author) keeps the story flowing with a breezy, humorous voice and very short chapters (89 of them!) titled intriguing names such as Chapter 32: In Which Burt Shrieks a Lot. You’d Better Cover Your Ears.
I can hardly wait until SweetPea is old enough to have books like this read to her, but at not quite two, we’re not there yet!
This is the second Jackson Jones book by Jenn Kelly, who lives in Ottawa, Canada, but her heart lives in Paris. Or Hawaii. She hasn’t decided yet. She is an undercover garden guru, painter, and chef, which has absolutely nothing to do with this book. She won a writing award in grade 4, failed English Lit in university, spent many years writing bad poetry, and then decided to write a book. This is it. She is married to her best friend, Danny, and is mom to a five-year-old boy and a dog who worries too much. She embraces the ridiculousness and disorganization of life.
I received an ebook version of this novel for review from the publisher via NetGalley. As always, the opinions are mine alone.