Today it is my pleasure to review a beautiful new picture book Joy’s Journey, written by Jacinta Farragher, illustrated by Manka Kasha and published by Little Steps Publishing. This post is part of a Books on Tour promotion.
About author Jacinta Farragher
While living in Thailand, Jacinta Farragher found that snippets of quirky verse popped into her brain every time she had a massage. Naturally, she wanted to explore this further and started having massages twice a week. Now she’s a children’s picture book author! Jacinta is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Creative Kids Tales, and the Australian Society of Authors. She dedicates her time to writing and having massages. Jacinta’s passion is writing fun picture books with messages that uplift and empower. She plans to spend the next few decades writing books that will inspire children and adults alike for generations to come. Jacinta’s debut picture book, Joy’s Journey, is an adventurous quest story about realising the joy is in the journey. This will soon be followed by a second book, Joy’s Way – a fun story about doing things your own way.
About Joy’s Journey
She travels over land and sea, to see what she can see. She becomes a bold adventurer, to be what she can be… Join Joy as she travels through four seasons, meets friends, and ultimately discovers that the joy is in the journey, and the most precious thing you can find is yourself!
What I like about Joy’s Journey
Joy’s Journey is a delightful tale from start to finish. For me with my own red-haired family, a redheaded freckle-faced protagonist has extra appeal, 😉 but of course there’s far more in the book to delight than that.
The story begins with Joy setting off to find a paradise where lives a teacher ‘strong and kind and wise’ and where, she’s heard, all her wishes will come true. She travels across the seas to different lands, exploring every terrain including a desert island, a cave, mountains and valleys. She meets many new friends and even finds a chest full of treasure.
Her journey takes her through every season until, in springtime, she follows a butterfly that brings her back home where she realises that the journey is more important than the destination and that she herself is the ‘strong and kind and wise’ teacher she’d been looking for all along.
Written in lyrical rhyming verse, the book is a perfect read-aloud. The children will enjoy chiming in with the rhymes and predicting where Joy will find her paradise.
There is much to discuss in the book, including the different environments that Joy explores and the activities that she engages in each season.
Manka Kasha’s vibrant life-affirming illustrations perfectly complement Farragher’s text with bold colours to match Joy’s bold (brave) adventure.
What I especially like about the book is that it emphasises that joy is to be found in the adventure, not just the destination. I think this has a wonderful correlation with the joy that can be found in learning new things and that the mark on an exam result (the destination) isn’t always the most important thing. I also love that Joy finds that she is her own strong and kind and wise teacher, that it is important to be true to ourselves, to not always look to others for guidance, and to know that we have within us what we need to survive and succeed. While you may prefer discussion of these themes to be child-initiated, I have no doubt that the messages will be subtly received.
Children will enjoy this book on both the literal and metaphorical level, and will find many new details in both text and illustrations in subsequent readings. It is a real joy to read, and I am happy to recommend it.
Teacher notes for Joy’s Journey are available on Farragher’s website here.
Find out more about Jacinta Farragher
From her website.
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