From Jess Butterworth comes a lovely new series that is perfect reading for all little adventurers, budding conservationists and animal lovers.
Eight-year-old Tilly really isn’t looking forward to the spring holidays. She longs for an adventure but while the other children in her class will be surfing in Cornwall, holidaying on narrowboats and going camping, she will be stuck at home with the babysitter.
That is until she wins a school competition and finds herself heading to Nepal on the adventure of a lifetime to observe red pandas. Along with two other children, Leo and Anita, Tilly will be helping conservationists and will get to do all sorts of exciting things. But when one red panda can not be found will Tilly’s dream adventure turn into a nightmare…
Love, love, love this first title in what I hope will be a series of many animal adventures around the globe. On this adventure, Tilly gets to work with a small team of animal conservationists who are monitoring and protecting the red panda population in Nepal. It makes for a very engaging and educational adventure that highlights the plight of the endangered red panda and the efforts that conservationists are going to in order to protect them.
Tilly’s adventure is filled with awe and wonder at being in a new place and having a truly unique experience. Like all exciting adventures, there are challenges and bumps along the way and friendships are made alongside memories that will last a lifetime. Tilly’s excitement at spotting rare animals in the wild and riding a yak are lovely and her heartbreak at witnessing a red panda caught in a trap is a sad and all to real occurrence.
We need books that inspire children to take action and I loved that Tilly’s adventure did not come to an end in Nepal. Determined to help the wildlife that is on her doorstep she starts up her own conservation project to help bees and butterflies. Instructions for creating a bee hotel are included at the back and I’m sure many children will be enthused by Tilly’s actions and will begin nature projects of their own.
So much information is packed into the story and through Tilly’s encounters readers get to learn all about red pandas. Facts are regularly shared and include information on habitat, diet conservation projects and threats. There is also a wonderful eco-friendly theme that runs throughout with Tilly experiencing a ride on a plane powered by leaves (not sure if this is actually possible or a dream of the future), a compost toilet and solar-powered fairy lights.
The book is very visually appealing and uses a variety of features to keep young readers engaged. Written in the form of a diary, the story is interspersed with hand-written diary extracts, lists, postcards and plenty of Tilly’s black and white pencil illustrations that are provided by Kirsti Beautyman. Rather than chapters, action is broken up into mini adventures each with their own objective and obstacles.
I definitely want to join The Adventure Club and I know that after reading this you will too!
Recommended for 7+.
With huge thanks to Jess Butterworth and Orion Children’s Books for the advanced reader copy that I received via NetGalley.