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Bandana Acres Series Review by Jennie Louwes

Kathy J Perry
Chickadee Words, LLC
Kansas City, MO

Through the Bandana Acres Series, via Chickadee Words, LLC, you will meet a gaggle of critters the likes of which you have never seen before! Although they might be common enough, a cat, a dog, a raccoon, an owl, a beaver, a fox, and more, they’re uncommon within their ability to talk with one another and help each other out of pickles. Reading, and watching by-way-of the illustrations provided, as the animals lend helping paws and talons to encourage, assist, and make things right is sure to light up your child’s face with delight!

Intended for children ages five through eight years old, each book of the Bandana Acre Series is a short chapter book that concludes with a “What If?” section meant to encourage thoughtfulness and discussion that drives each book’s message home to the heart of the matter. The five-book, softcover bundle, priced at thirty-five dollars, is the best way to purchase the complete series as it takes a dollar off each one’s cover price for a savings of five dollars total. Included in the bundle are the following titles: Feebs to the Rescue, Rascal’s Trip; Nibbler and Captain Make Peace, Hootin’ Goes Outside, and Kit’s New Home.

Although pegged for children aged five through eight years of age, and meant for beginning readers, I chose to read these books out loud to my children ages eight, nine, eleven, and twelve years old around our dinner table. It is my twelve-year-old that enjoyed them the most, is looking forward to re-reading them on his own, and asked if he might keep them to read to his own children one day!

Each book teaches a lesson, shines a spotlight on a specific character trait, highlights friendship, and significantly showcases honor, loyalty, the importance of listening, and keeping one’s word. In Feebs to the Rescue we learn what it is to take courage, In Rascal’s Trip we learn the importance of thinking ahead; In Nibbler and Captain Make Peace we learn what it is to be a peacemaker, In Hootin’ Goes Outside we learn about the power and importance of friendship, and in Kit’s New Home we learn what it is to be trustworthy.

What my children and I loved most about the Bandana Acres Series of books was their feel-good nature and the map found in the front of each one of them. From the name of the series to the content within, everything about these books from cover-to-cover was uplifting, encouraging, somewhat old-fashioned but old-world in the way a good, old-fashioned slice of apple pie makes you feel: Heart-warmed, endeared, loved, and safe.

Although billed as being for beginning readers, I think these books are best suited for children who are already confident in their reading ability. For some this may mean that they can easily read these books aloud at eight years old; however, for other children, it might be they cannot read it fluidly until they are ten. There is a helpful, available glossary in the back of each book that is a great tool for those words that might be unfamiliar to children such as “nimbleness”; but, it is with these words in mind that I lean towards recommending this series be read by a slightly older aged category of children if they are attempting to read them independently.

The messaging in each book is first-rate! The books would appeal to kids five-years-old on up to twelve-years-old. As a parent reading these books to their children, they are perfect for fostering further discussion and assisting you in raising your kids to espouse the virtues, inner-fortitude, and character you are praying to see within each of them as they grow into young adults. The books are antiquated in such a way as to preserve and celebrate childhood innocence, bringing things back to the root of simple truths, and living life within wide, open spaces that many of our hearts long for and thrive within. I highly recommend them!

Product review by Jennie Louwes, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2020