A Grand Adventure with a Dash of Pepper: Joint Review
The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton and illustrated by Brett Helquist
Persimmony Smudge lives on the peaceful Island at the Center of Everything. When she gets lost in the woods, she starts a series of events that will change her life and the life of those on the island.
Persimmony longs for adventure, and with her very active imagination it’s hard for her family to understand. Her mother morally objects from everything from using soap to reading books. Her sister, Prunella, is not much different. Persimmony takes after her long missing father, who may have gone off on a heroic adventure of his own… read the book to find out. While lost in the woods, she overhears something about gold beneath the King’s castle and how the Leafeaters (“Reclusive denizens of the secret underground city of Willowroot who love ceremonies, hate rudeness, and (ahem) eat leaves.”) are going to dig straight to it. From here, Persimmony and her friend Worvil the Worrier find out that the daily rise and fall of the island is actually a sleeping giant and must not be woken lest the island be destroyed…and it’s up to her to convince everyone.
This book has a wonderful cast of characters, from Persimmony herself to the playful, happy-go-lucky Rumplebumps, the aforementioned Leafeaters, the quarreling citizens of the island, and my favorite, thirteen-year-old King Lucas the Loftier, who will have you rooting for some and laughing at others. He is full of his own self-importance and obsessed with pepper. This is a wonderful debut from this author, and I hope she has many more tales to tell us. A great read-aloud and hard to put down!
What Jenny has to say…
As Ruby said, great characters in this one!
Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge imagines herself a hero, bursting in to save the day with courage, dignity, and grace, but nothing exciting ever seems to happen on the Island at the Center of Everything where she lives. So when she overhears that Mount Majestic might be built on the body of a sleeping giant, she thrills at the thought! Unfortunately twelve-year-old King Lucas the Loftier—lover of pepper, disbeliever of giants—thinks she’s annoying and refuses to listen. It’s up to Persimmony and her friends Worvil the worrier and Theodore the potter to find the head of the giant in the snoring caves, survive the poison-tongued jumping tortoises, discover a secret entrance to the Leafeaters’ underground city, and try not to get absorbed in the Rumblebumps’ games, all in order to save the island.
Full of wacky characters, fun language, and grand times for all, Trafton’s story will appeal to kids with a silly sense of humor. Helquist’s illustrations compliment Trafton’s writing perfectly, and the overall sensation is of joyous fun and exploration. Fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Calder Games—both also illustrated by Helquist—will enjoy the madcap adventures to be had on Mount Majestic.
On a side note, I’d really like to know if Helquist gets to choose his own projects, because everything he illustrates also happens to be a great book!
Publisher: Dial (December 2010)
Available as an eBook
Image from www.goodreads.com
FTC Full Disclosure: Ruby received her review copy from the local library.
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