The Wrong Adventure
by Ross Mountney
Illustrated by James Robinson and available from Bird’s Nest Books
Once hearing the news that fabulous home-ed writer Ross Mountney had written her second children’s book about the adventures of her curious and loveable character Little Harry, my family were keen to find out more. We so loved their first book ‘Who’s Not In School?’ (you can read what we thought about it in our review here)that this book has become a family favourite and the kids were keen to find out what Little Harry would be up to on his next adventure.
Being familiar with the characters meant there was very little effort needed to engage the children with the story; they knew Harry, they knew about his passion for adventure and they wanted to find out exactly what adventures missions he would be on this time.
And we were not disappointed.
Throughout the story there were lots of laughs and giggles in response to Harry’s antics, as well as some ‘eeks’ and ‘eughs’ as Harry encountered the worms and snails in his latest subterranean adventures. Once we’d read the story once, it was asked for again, and the same laughs ensued. After reading, my youngest (4) took hold of the book and looked through the pictures in his own time. He also took off his wellie and tipped sand all over the floor from our trip to the beach, so we all laughed and realised once again how true to life this book is for many of us with our own Little Harrys.
Similarly, being home educated themselves, my kids talked about how they liked the story because it reflected their own lives, and the characters in the story got up to similar things that they did. As a parent, as with Ross’s first book, it is refreshing and exciting to find a children’s book with characters and families which our children can relate to, and which shows some of the variety, content and rhythm of home educating families.
Once again the colour illustrations by James Robinson are intricate and beautiful and hold the attention of both children and adults alike. As well as complimenting the text, the illustrations go further, by providing more insight into the nature of home ed days, showing the mixed age groups, with parents, children, toddlers and babies learning and playing alongside one another.
The clear text is inviting and readable to those children whom are keen to read, and the colourful detail of the illustrations means those who are not able to read the text by themselves are able to read it in their own way through time spent exploring the pictures.
Alongside being a funny, accessible story which home educating children can relate too, cleverly Ross illustrates some of the ways in which children learn in a home ed setting. She reinforces learning through play, child-led learning, the variety of a home ed week, how a group of mixed age kids can take an idea and all run with it in their own ways, and most of all, how siblings can feel frustrated with one another at times, but how these feelings are usually short lived and co-exist against a family backdrop of friendship, play, love and a sense of companionship.
A beautiful, funny and exciting story which both children and adults will love and relate to. Thank you Ross for making this contribution and we are looking forward to Harry’s next adventure…