Posts tagged ‘treasure’

GUARDIAN AND DEFENDER

Andee The Aquanaut:Guardian of the Great Seas

Written by Simon James House

Illustrated by Zoran Zlaticanin

Andee,pic

This is the first book in a trilogy aimed at readers age six through twelve. While the chapters are short, there are twenty-four making it a very long book for a child at the lower end of that range. It could be a read aloud, but a child might not be patient enough to wait that long to hear the ending.

At the outset, the reader meets Andee, a young boy who lives on an island with his parents who are marine biologists studying the coral reef in an effort to find new medicines and cures for illnesses. Andee enjoys playing with Tingo and Tango his dolphin friends. One day a storm whips in as his parents are out in the dinghy and Andee is playing onshore. Andee’s dolphin family rescues him and brings him to an underwater cave. As Andee explores his new surroundings, he meets the Wise White Dolphin who guides him to the cave of the Lost City.The dolphin informs him that he has been chosen to be guardian and protector of the seas.

Andee is given a magical suit that allows him to swim faster than the dolphins. As he learns to use his powers, Andee will experience many adventures. He will succeed in rescuing his dolphin friends from pirate fishermen, protect the eggs of sea turtles from poachers, swim with manta rays, and communicate with the jellyfish. A giant tooth may literally become the key to lost treasures, and the merpeople may be able to help him locate the parents he thought that he had lost. Andee comes close to death many times; the ending to the first book is a cliff hangar.

The book is a mixture of adventure, fact, legend, science and coming of age themes. There are a few editing errors. I did find it a bit strange that the story is told in past tense. Still there is a nice balance of elements that appeal to early readers, and the plot has enough depth and moves along at a good pace. Illustrations are well done and encourage the reader to visualize the adventures. I recommend it for readers ages eight and up. Buyers should note that the author donates a portion of profits to marine research.

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DIGGING DOWN DEEP

Minecraft: Herobrine and the Nether Dragon

Written by World of Minecraft

MinecraftNetherworld,pic

I recently discovered this series which is trademarked to accompany devotees of the Minecraft game and characters. There are a whole series of books available online and at their website www.minecraftstories.com. This particular selection features Herobrine, a young man who is distinguished by the fact that his eyes are pure white and his fascination for building things. Because of these traits, others think of him as a sorcerer or wizard.

At the beginning of the tale, Herobrine is preparing to build an amphitheater made of black obsidian. He had spent much time underground locating the mineral. Herobrine thought that this black building would contrast nicely with his white leaning tower of cobblestone located nearby. While he was lighting torches to keep the zombies away one night, Herobrine sees a mysterious purple light and a figure with a pig-like face emerge from a portal. Herobrine did not realize he had created a portal. The pigman screams at him to close the portal. Too late….a dragon emerges and with one loud roar succeeds in destroying Herobrine’s castle and both buildings. Now Herobrine must ally himself with Peg, the pigman, and figure out a way to destroy the dragon before he destroys the rest of their world.

Their adventure will lead them to beaches, volcanoes, and a band of pirates headed by Captain Dedwang, who is interested in treasure, not dragons. Will Peg and Herobrine find a way to survive all these threats and defeat the dragon? Fans of the minecraft game including reluctant readers will find this book, as well as others in the series, an interesting read. The text is not difficult and the dialogue moves the plot along quickly. Recommended for boys and girls age eight and up. The book also makes a good read aloud for classroom teachers.

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QUEST FOR REVENGE

Quest For The Lost Treasure

Written by Gerry Gaston

Illustrated by: Laura Livi

Questforlosttreasure

The story line of this book is a simple one. At the outset the reader is given a challenge. A gang of pirates has invaded and sacked your village depleting it of all valuables. You alone have the courage and determination to sail across the seas, track them down and relieve them of those treasures! At last your rowboat arrives and you have the pirate ship in sight. Let the adventure begin!

This book is an interactive, choose your path e book. On each of the approximately fifty pages, the reader is given two choices. Unfortunately, the child is often redirected back to a page that has already been read. Eventually, the explorer is lead to the pirate treasure regardless of the choices he makes along the way. The authors suggest that the book is appropriate for ages three to eight. The vivid, bold and animated illustrations by Livi are stunning, but the text is somewhat rambling and difficult for a young child to follow. Here is one example, “As the ship rocks slowly and the waves gently lap against its hull, your mind tells you not to trust your instincts, because the calmness could be deceiving.” In addition, the complexity of vocabulary would inhibit a younger child from independent reading. Words like plundered, anxiety, dangling and abandoned are not easily explained by the illustrations alone.

I read this book on a Kindle Fire HD. The pictures were brilliant and the interactive tabs worked fine. Some reviewers complained of having difficulty reading the text because it was printed in white and the print too small. Reviews on the book on amazon run the gamut from five to one stars, I would place it right in the middle. I feel there is a place for interactive readers with rich illustration and simple plot lines, especially for reluctant readers. Certainly, a pirate adventure story that allows the child to choose his own solution is something such a reader would enjoy. But don’t expect a child younger than eight to succeed in reading this book on his own. The long sentences and more difficult word meanings will necessitate that a parent or teacher will need to provide assistance.

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