Official Review: Walking to Woot A Photographic Narrative...

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Official Review: Walking to Woot A Photographic Narrative...

Post by L_Therese »

[Following is the official review of "Walking to Woot A Photographic Narrative Discovering New Dimensions for Parent-Teen Bonding" by Jackie Chase.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Walking to Woot: A Photographic Narrative Discovering New Dimensions for Parent-Teen Bonding by Jackie Chase is a travel memoir of the best sort. Ms. Chase and her young teenage daughter Katherine journey into the jungles of Indonesia’s New Guinea island. Together they face down biting ants, brown drinking water, terrifying snakes, and floods of mosquitoes. Their explorations lead them to several native villages where they witness and even take part in various aspects of tribal life. Meanwhile, they are getting to know themselves and each other much more intimately.

This book is so appealing in part because it includes the reader. Not only are the experiences vividly described, but the author is open about her thoughts and feelings throughout. She asks meaningful questions, ostensibly to herself or Katherine, but in reality, the author is also asking the reader. For example, in chapter 3, the author asks, “Had a few Dani, half-naked and with pork bones pierced through their nostrils, walked into a neighborhood barbecue in our country, would we receive them with open arms?” The author may only be recounting thoughts and feelings of the moment, but it is a question anyone can think about. If someone very different from you walked into your community, how would that person be received? There is a lot of food for thought about how we view other cultures and how another culture might perceive ours.

Additionally, Walking to Woot is gripping. I read it in one day! The characters are believable, neither made into heroes nor cast as villains. There is a lot of adventure, both in the sense of the journey and in the small things that make up day-to-day living in the jungle. Ms. Chase can captivate the reader when she describes a joining in a community pig feast as well when she talks about procuring potable water.

Another major concern of the book is the aftermath. There is heavy emphasis on the changes in Katherine and her mother’s relationship. When the journey is coming to an end, the author includes several chapters that reflect on how they anticipate the trip will change their lives and how it actually did. Especially for Katherine (as a teenager), the changes will be life-altering. The author includes an interview with her daughter, apparently performed years later, that allows Katherine to reflect on her experiences before, during, and after the trip. There was also discussion about the mother-daughter relationship during those three time periods in order to add Katherine’s thoughts and feelings to the author’s own. This honest reflection helps add context and relevance to the experience as a whole, allowing the reader to understand the benefits and costs of exotic travel.

I am happy to be able to rate Walking to Woot by Jackie Chase 4 out of 4 stars. For me, it brought back some of my best memories of my own adventures. It inspires people to see every day as an adventure of its own and every person as a unique treasure, to be valued for their own sake. Even a non-traveler will enjoy an exciting story of travel, family, and creepy crawlies.

Walking to Woot A Photographic Narrative Discovering New Dimensions for Parent-Teen Bonding
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Post by gordonralph »

I agree with the reviewer's insights about pulling the reader into the story. I actually read a draft of this book before any images were added and was amazed at how vivid and realistic the descriptions were of each scene, making me feel like I was sitting on the author's shoulder or hooked up behind her eyes to see things as she saw them. There is much in the story to challenge our thoughts about the many different cultures that are our neighbors on this planet, as mentioned by the reviewer in referring to an invitation to our local barbecue. The world today seems anxious to exclude others who are different instead of seeking the areas where we all share common needs of raising a family and enjoying a get-together to exchange ideas and experiences. When you add the story-telling images to the poetic and descriptive prose, the book becomes an inexpensive vicarious trip to parts of the world we could not realistically expect to see in person.
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Post by Rachaelamb1 »

I had my eye on this book, but you beat me to it! Glad to hear it was so good. Now I'll have to add it to my want to read list. I love the fact that their journey had a lasting impact on their lives. Sounds like an incredible experience!
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Post by Esies98 »

You convinced me, an interesting journey filled with adventure, survival, native villages and relatable characters, all that combined with a great author is a yes for me
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Post by ALynnPowers »

I remember seeing this book when it was up for review, and I was wondering who had read it! It sounds totally like something I would be into... with the anthropological standpoint plus just the whole bonding trip between mother and daughter. I would love to just browse through the books and see the actual photographs.
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Post by Heidi M Simone »

Great review! The concept is definitely intriguing and I'm impressed by both the author and her daughter to take such a journey together. It's a unique type of memoir and I praise the author for sharing her and her daughter's story!
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Post by signed »

Thanks for the nice review!
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Post by chocomeiske »

Having read the sample and the review, I think I would like to read this book. I love the illustrations too.
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Post by gali »

Sounds like a great adventure and a unique bonding trip! I liked it when an author shares with the reader are her thoughts and feelings as this author seemed to do. Congratulations to the author for getting a good review and being Book of the Day!
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

This sounds like a very lovely book. lightly philosophical, definitely educational as well as engaging. would make an interesting read!
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Post by bluemel4 »

A very insightful and thoughtful review. I love books that make you see the world differently and authors that take you along on their adventures. I really appreciate that the author took the time to include the impact of the trip on her relationship with her daughter and self from different points in time.
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Post by crazilydramatic »

This book seems to be more than what meets the eye! Based on your review, it seems like it's not just about mother daughter bonding and traveling, but it's also thought provoking. I appreciate the example of how the book includes the readers by asking questions. It gives me a better insight of this book is really about. Great review!
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Post by kklaudi »

Thank you for wonderful review L_Therese. I will definetly read it as soon as possible.

I must admit that adventure books are not exactly my cup of tea but this one seems interesting. Especially because of philosophical/educational point of view. How often do we think, even after simple vacation, how much our experiences abroad in different culture affect us?
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Post by AbbyC »

Fantastic review! I love stories on travel, culture and family and this looks like it has it all! I thought this looked good but after reading this I know I'll have to get the book now!
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Post by Annelore Trujillo »

Great review! I like that the book includes the reader in the questions. It sounds like a great book to read.
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