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Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#1 by anneloretrujillo
» 07 Jan 2017, 23:30

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Caravan Holiday" by Peter Thomas.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by anneloretrujillo
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The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas is a children’s chapter book that is told in the first person perspective from Tom’s point of view. Tom is a pessimistic ten-year-old whose only real interest is trains. Out of the blue, his dad informs Tom and his mum that they are all going to rent a caravan for a week-long holiday like he did when he was a boy. The only problem is that disaster follows Tom’s dad wherever he goes. Something chaotic happens every day that they are on their trip, from getting stuck in a castle to squirting ketchup all over a random man’s T-shirt. No matter what they decide to do, they can’t seem to escape the disaster.

This 168-page book was packed with comedy. The constant mishaps had me laughing the entire time I was reading. I was waiting for the father to mess up every time the family started a new activity. This use of humor and the style of the book reminded me quite a bit of the Junie B. Jones series, which I loved as a child. The use of a child as the narrator made both goofy and fun.

This story takes place in North Wales. I loved that the voice of the story reflected the culture and vocabulary of the area. I actually learned a lot of terminology, and I think it would be great for kids that aren’t from that area. I think that they would be able to use context clues to understand the words that they aren’t used to, and they would learn a few new terms in the process.

The voice of the book is that of an intelligent ten-year-old. The sentence structure sounds like a child is speaking. The author did a great job using varied sentence lengths, which created the perfect voice for a ten-year-old. The vocabulary that the author used is challenging for children but not so difficult that they can’t read it. With the voice and vocabulary, I think that this is a great book for children between the ages of eight and eleven. Although the lower age might need some help with some of the words, I think that this age group could really relate to the narrator.

For being a children’s book, the character development was great. I felt like I really got to know each of the characters throughout the book. Their personalities showed in their actions and dialogue. I really liked that the type of characters that would normally appear only once in most books showed up multiple times in this book. For example, the owner of the caravan also worked in other places, so the family saw him quite often throughout their holiday.

I also thought that the pacing of the book was perfect. There was just enough detail to explain the different situations effectively without boring the reader. The chapters were a great length for children as well. I felt like they weren’t too long, but they were substantial. I also really enjoyed that many of the chapters started with a dream that Tom was having. These dreams were very entertaining.

Overall, I really enjoyed this humorous story. I think that it is a great read for children and adults alike. The style was fun, and the characters were well-developed. There were a few errors here and there, but I could count the total errors on one hand. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars.

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Re: Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#2 by Guppy
» 09 Jan 2017, 00:58

Sounds like a hilarious and well plotted story! Well done on a great review.
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Re: Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#3 by anneloretrujillo
» 09 Jan 2017, 01:48

Guppy wrote:Sounds like a hilarious and well plotted story! Well done on a great review.


It was. Thank you!
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Re: Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#4 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 09 Jan 2017, 11:04

Wow, this sounds like one my son would love to read! It seems it is difficult to find solid children's books that I don't mind my children reading.
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Re: Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#5 by anneloretrujillo
» 09 Jan 2017, 14:00

greenstripedgiraffe wrote:Wow, this sounds like one my son would love to read! It seems it is difficult to find solid children's books that I don't mind my children reading.


I know what you mean! I would definitely recommend this one for him!
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Re: Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#6 by kimmyschemy06
» 16 Jan 2017, 09:51

Sounds like a great read. I like it when a story is narrated by a child. It sounds sweet and innocent and no pretensions. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Peter Thomas on such an obviously well written book.
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Re: Official Review: The Caravan Holiday by Peter Thomas

Post Number:#7 by anneloretrujillo
» 16 Jan 2017, 09:54

kimmyschemy06 wrote:Sounds like a great read. I like it when a story is narrated by a child. It sounds sweet and innocent and no pretensions. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Peter Thomas on such an obviously well written book.


Thank you! I agree with you about books being narrated by children. This one made it funny too, because the child was so pessimistic.
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