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Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite
Journey to Jumbalot by Ryan Wakefield takes readers on a gripping adventure with many wonderful creatures. Professor Wizoom is excited to build a doorway into another world, but his cat, Alby, is afraid to lose him since he had lived as a stray cat for two years before meeting him. When the professor suddenly vanishes, Alby walks through the doorway to search for him and discovers he is in the realm of Jumbalot, a world filled with weird creatures: sharks that breathe above water, animals with the features of tigers and kangaroos in the same body, and other interesting hybrids. Alby soon makes friends with a funny "froguar" named Fremmy, who helps him on his search and takes him on a new mission to find a gem that had been stolen from a pyramid palace by an evil tyrant.
Ryan Wakefield brings new fantastic ideas to young readers aged 11 to 14 in Journey to Jumbalot. There's just so much to like in this mix of magical war scenes, captivating adventurous exploits, and creative hybrid animals. Journey to Jumbalot has a strong portrayal of themes of heroism, altruism, revenge, tyranny, and a battle for power between good and evil forces. Each character is distinct and memorable, and the main protagonist is as adorable and cute as a cat character should be. I especially enjoyed the different references to cats, like "nine lives" and "catnaps". Journey to Jumbalot would be great for cat lovers, animal lovers, and readers who enjoy books that immerse them in a world of magic and different types of envisioned creatures.