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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Jolly Time Books: Kelly’s Adventures Books 1 – 3 Box Set is a collection of children’s stories with a magical twist, and was created by co-author and co-illustrator duo Karen S McGowan and Dennis E McGowan. Aimed at independent readers of ages 9 to 12, the collection consists of three tales: Searching for Kelly, Chasing Kelly’s Shadow, and Kelly Saves the Day. In each adventure, we follow our central heroine Lizzy and her brother Ben and are introduced to their new pet puppy, the amazing Kelly. Amid incredible feats and bizarre goings-on, the trio tries to solve their problems and deal with some real-world emotions and situations along the way.
Karen S McGowan and Dennis E McGowan have created a bright and bold world for their characters to inhabit, and one which independent readers are sure to delve headfirst into and enjoy. The chapter heading illustrations give a great glimpse into each section of the stories, which are appropriately divided into bitesize pieces that readers of the target age will easily cope with. The narration is direct, discussing Lizzy’s adventures as if she is telling all the gossip to a friend, which makes for highly engaging reading and a personal connection to the central characters. As the wacky side takes off, there’s always room for an educational and moral moment under the surface. Overall, Jolly Time Books: Kelly’s Adventures Books 1 – 3 Box Set has a place on any young reader’s shelf and will help them grow and learn whilst also being entertained.