Official Review: The Enchantment of Jack Horner

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.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
KristyKhem
Posts: 365
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2019 Reading Goal: 150
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 120
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 97
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kristykhem.html
Latest Review: Love Across Lifetimes by Debby Ng

Official Review: The Enchantment of Jack Horner

Post by KristyKhem » 14 Nov 2018, 17:22

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Enchantment of Jack Horner" by Christopher R. Doyle.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Mother Goose is a British fictional character who purportedly wrote a series of children’s tales, and nursery rhymes in the 17th century. The Enchantment of Jack Horner by Christopher R. Doyle is a book which tells the story of Jack Horner, a boy whose late grandmother was Mother Goose. When Mother Goose’s rhymes are spoken aloud by Jack, magical things happen to the people around him. When he is six, his mother asks him to watch over his baby brother who was being extremely fussy that day. Using his magical powers, Jack sends his baby brother’s cradle into a tree so that the blackbirds could sing him to sleep. Forgetting about his brother, Jack goes off to play and absentmindedly begins to sing a particular nursery rhyme, ‘Rockabye Baby’. As most of us know, that rhyme ends in a disastrous way. True to the rhyme, his baby brother’s cradle falls from the tree and little Tommy dies. Distraught, Jack vows never to sing his magical rhymes again.

Time passes and Jack’s mother is expecting another baby. Jack also meets a little girl, Polly, who knows all of Mother Goose’s rhymes, including the one about herself. Jack soon learns that she and her brother have a difficult life at home. He realizes that his magic could help a lot of people like Polly, and he knows he must make a decision to start using magic again. Moreover, terrifying family secrets are revealed to Jack, and he realizes Polly and her family are more closely linked to him than he expected.

This book brought up wonderful memories of sitting on my grandpa’s knee while he read a giant book of Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes and stories to me. The premise of Doyle’s story is unique, but the rhymes remained the same. I really appreciated how he connected these old rhymes into a new, magical tale for children.

The story captivated me from the first page and continued on a rollercoaster of twists and turns that evoked a series of emotions including horror, sadness, anger, excitement, and happiness. I could not wait to reach the end. The storyline became deeper as it neared the conclusion. It dived into the past and connected the past and present. A few things also alluded to spirituality, the impermanence of death, and reincarnation.

Doyle’s excellent characterization was one of the best features of his book. Each character had distinct attributes which either made them hated or liked. For example, the villain’s character was extremely well written. She was mysterious enough not to be suspected in the very beginning, but later on, she was both mean and kind which hid her true nature. Eventually, her actions became gruesome and life-threatening. Her horrible past was also revealed. My hate for her while reading the story reached a new level, but the depth at which her character was written was admirable. On the contrary, Jack’s mother was the epitome of angelic motherhood. Although she gave him lots of chores to do during her second pregnancy, she always thanked him. Moreover, she never blamed Jack for accidentally killing his brother. She understood that his magic was a gift and not a curse. I really liked her character.

Another great thing about this book was that it contained several lessons for children. Numerous times Jack’s helpful nature was described, such as his readiness to complete chores and take care of his pregnant mother while his dad was away. His reverence for life was another lesson. This was illustrated when he used magic to resurrect a baby mouse which had died in a mousetrap. His courage to stand up for himself in the face of bullies was another meaningful lesson.

If not for a few errors, I would have given this book a full rating. 3 out of 4 stars is the rating I am awarding it. Children aged 9 and above will enjoy this book. It is also a great story to read to children at bedtime. I think parents will enjoy it just as much as their little ones.

******
The Enchantment of Jack Horner
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like KristyKhem's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
SamSim
Posts: 598
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 10:51
2019 Reading Goal: 120
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 1
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 212
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-samsim.html
Latest Review: The Scary Snow Day by Kyle Derby Pratt
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by SamSim » 15 Nov 2018, 08:00

I like this recent trend of revisiting, rewriting, and retelling stories from childhood, so this book immediately caught my attention. Your great review settled it - I want to read this. I'm pleased to hear that the characters are well written and the tradition of the "moral of the story" is admirably upheld. Thanks!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

User avatar
kristine29
Posts: 36
Joined: 18 Aug 2018, 03:36
Currently Reading: Release that witch
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kristine29.html
Latest Review: Chasing The Red Queen by Karen Glista

Post by kristine29 » 15 Nov 2018, 08:45

This certainly something I would read even as an adult . Your review is well-written, I've learn lots from you , thank you

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6790
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 9
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 244
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings

Post by kandscreeley » 15 Nov 2018, 10:08

Forget children, this sounds like a fun story for me! I haven't heard of Mother Goose and her rhymes told in quite this way before. Very enchanting indeed! Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
KristyKhem
Posts: 365
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2019 Reading Goal: 150
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 120
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 97
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kristykhem.html
Latest Review: Love Across Lifetimes by Debby Ng

Post by KristyKhem » 15 Nov 2018, 17:22

SamSim wrote:
15 Nov 2018, 08:00
I like this recent trend of revisiting, rewriting, and retelling stories from childhood, so this book immediately caught my attention. Your great review settled it - I want to read this. I'm pleased to hear that the characters are well written and the tradition of the "moral of the story" is admirably upheld. Thanks!
You're welcome! I hope you read this one soon, it was an excellent story!

charmperit
Posts: 65
Joined: 25 Sep 2018, 06:29
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-charmperit.html
Latest Review: Pastoring is not what you think by Elijah Oladimeji

Post by charmperit » 21 Nov 2018, 03:38

I agree when you said that parents will enjoy this book as much as their children. A story connecting to well-known Mother Goose will interest the young hearts of many.

User avatar
MsTri
Posts: 1241
Joined: 02 Jul 2017, 12:56
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 41
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 391
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 15362">The Prodigal Son</a>
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 435
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mstri.html
Latest Review: The Story Of Autumn by Anne E. Reardon
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by MsTri » 26 Nov 2018, 23:24

It's a shame about all of the errors, but I love the plot; I adore stories based on other well-known tales or entities, so this one seems right up my alley, and with a wonderful story of its own to tell. Thanks so much for the introduction!

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”