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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Banzai’s Unexpected Voyage is a short work of adventurous children’s fiction penned by author Jane-Anne Hodgson and completed with illustrations by Sammy Jim/Sam Hodgson. Aimed at six to ten-year-olds for its read alone qualities, this is the sequel to Grubson Pug’s Christmas Voyage. We return to a new seafaring adventure just a few days after the Christmas Voyage, when Banzai the arm-wrestling cat goes missing. As Grubson sets out to find his friend, we follow Banzai’s unusual journey as it takes him to the Venice carnival, and to a family member he didn’t expect to run into. What follows is a comedy caper with plenty of color, charm, and cats galore.
I found this work to be utterly charming from start to finish. The line drawn illustrations add yet more color and experience to what is already a superb plot, filled with exciting characters and plenty of room for fun and hijinks to occur. Banzai takes center stage in the story, allowing us to unfold some of his mysteries, and his little nephew is truly adorable as he sets out to find his enigmatic uncle. Author Jane-Anne Hodgson has a great variety of language usage which remains within the accessible range for her readership’s age but also educates them with plenty of good vocabulary pieces to learn in context. I also enjoyed this book for its pure and wholesome qualities of adventure, and I believe overall that Banzai’s Unexpected Voyage will provide an excellent and entertaining read for children everywhere.