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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Doing the same thing every day can become tedious. The Martinez children have just started their summer vacation and already they’re complaining about being bored: breakfast is boring, playing in the backyard is boring – there’s just nothing new and exciting to capture their attention. That is, until their kindly neighbor, an inventor, introduces them to a new invention that will transport the family into all manner of creatures in virtual reality settings. Their first adventure is running through trees in the body of a squirrel. They weren’t too thrilled with the idea of eating acorns, but when you’re hungry and there’s nothing else, what do you do? They also have adventures under the sea and in rainforests, living the life of a different creature each time, learning what it’s like to be something or someone else. Life is no longer the same old, boring stuff.
Minda Gomez’s early chapter book, The Secret Door, is the first book in the Martinez Kids Adventures series. The author explores the realm of what-if scenarios and creates a series of imaginary adventures that will definitely appeal to young readers. With boldly colorful illustrations and written in simple language with lots of dialogue, this is a great early reader for those still learning to read. As young readers learn exciting ways to explore the world around them with their own imaginations, they will also learn about a wide variety of living creatures: how and where they live, what they eat, what they do every day and so much more. The most significant lessons presented in this story are those that relate to family values and caring for others. This is an engaging, entertaining, and educational book that will appeal to the young and the young at heart.