Mr. Choli’s River Trip by Chris Wardle

The residents of Daphne Wood return in the second book of Chris Wardle’s Tinfish series, Mr. Choli’s River Trip.

Now settled into their new location, the members of the colony living in Daphne Wood are happy with their new place. In their previous adventures, they discovered a tunnel that leads to a town long ago deserted by the people whose wars and diseases caused their demise. Traveling through the tunnel from time to time has allowed Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger, the cats, to stock up on their supply of canned fish that they keep in an abandoned car they now call home. The detective shingle proudly in place, Mr. Choli has certainly gained a lofty reputation for his investigative work.

When Mrs. Cat-biscuit, the goat, shares her concern that the vegetation in Daphne Wood is struggling to survive in the heat and wind, Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger lead another expedition to find new plants that are better able to handle the increasingly hot conditions. While back at Daphne Wood, Mr. Denzel, the mole, and the remaining members of the gardening team start a new project that just might protect the existing plants in the colony from the harsh conditions.

I enjoyed Mr. Choli’s River Trip even better than the first book in the series. New adventures, new characters, and the developing friendships among the residents of Daphne Wood, add to this already engaging and thought provoking series. Again, the reader gets the opportunity to witness how the climate changes have impacted the colony and the ingenuity of the residents working together to solve the problem. The cooperation amongst the characters is truly one of the best parts of these books; teaching readers that working together, they can make a difference. In addition, the prose flowed even more smoothly in this book than in the first, making Mr. Choli’s River Trip an even more exciting adventure in reading.

The cover art on both of these books is downright hilarious. I absolutely love the picture of Mr. Choli with his pipe and magnifying glass. All he needs is a Sherlock Holmes hat. The back cover of both books has color versions of some of the illustrations found inside.

I would definitely recommend Mr. Choli’s River Trip to any youngster interested in environmental issues, those who love animals and nature, and readers who like engaging stories filled with fun and quirky characters. I can’t wait to read the next two books in this series!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:  Lulu
  • SRP:  $7.96

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The Lighthouse of Mr. Tinfish by Chris Wardle

Mr. Tinfish, the penguin, and the other animals of the colony are alarmed when the sudden climate changes cause a rapid rise in the sea level that threatens all their homes. Luckily, Mr. Vinegar, the walrus in charge of the colony, enlists the help of the cats Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger to find a new location for the colony.

In the first of this humorous and engaging series of quirky characters, young readers will discover: Mr. Tinfish, the penquin who lives in the barrel-lighthouse with his family; Mr. Vinegar, the walrus who owns the hardware store and the self-appointed leader of the colony; the cats Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger who spend their time investigating mysteries as the resident detectives of the colony, when they aren’t snacking on mackrel sandwiches; Mr. Taverre, the parrot who is constantly on the lookout for pirates; Mrs. Chutney, the walaby, who states the obvious and then explains it, and many other interesting characters who make up the colony.

The expedition to find a new location for the colony, the adventure of moving the entire colony to Daphne Wood, the mystery of the disappearing river, and rescuing the animals from Volcano Island, all combine together to make The Lighthouse of Mr. Tinfish an engaging and quick read.

Wardle has an eloquent style that might be lost on some younger readers, but anyone ages 9 through 12 will enjoy the flow of his prose. The only hitch I found was that the author continued to repeat descriptive phrases of the animals throughout the book, referring to Mrs. Chutney on many occasions as the one who states the obvious and then explains it, and others in the same manner. I felt once the reader is engaged in the book, he will remember the quirks of each character and these descriptors did not need repeating.

The charming and funny illustrations are black and white inside the book, but  many are featured in color on the back cover and on the author’s website. I can only assume these illustrations are the handiwork of the author, since there is no credit given to an illustrator within the first few pages of the book.

The Lighthouse of Mr. Tinfish is an enjoyable first book of what I feel will be an amazing series. While dealing with a serious issue, the reader is pulled in by the quirky characters and their adventures, and will look forward to reading more books by Chris Wardle.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂