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  • Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest: Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time

  • By: Marti Dumas
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Jaden Toussaint is a five-year-old who knows it all. I mean, really knows it all. Animal Science. Great Debater. Master of the art of ninja dancing. There's nothing Jaden Toussaint can't do. The only problem is that grown-ups keep trying to convince him that, even though he's really smart, he doesn't know everything. The thing is...he kind of does.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Absolutely Loved This Audiobook

  • By Teresa on 06-14-15

Great start to a series!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-15

Seeing this was the first episode, I do hope Jaden Toussaint has more adventures and becomes a series. As a confident little boy, Jaden tries to find a way to get more screen time, which here means time in front of a computer or smart phone and not, as I first suspected, in front of a camera.

Jadon rows up in a loving family vaguely similar to the author’s other work. Jala and The Wolves, but that doesn’t take away from Jaden’s story (or Jala’s in her story). What I love about this book is the deliberately chosen language the author uses to describe Jaden’s perspective about school. Jaden likes school and homework and the author loves to write about kids who have a thirst for knowledge, which is the kind of book I want to read to my kids. I want my kids to like learning and not think that being smart is somehow not cool. I want the heroes of their books to like to read and get to know the world around them.

The narrator is fantastic and does a great job with voices and keeping a pace that allows the story to be interesting and engaging.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Jala and the Wolves

  • By: Marti Dumas
  • Narrated by: Marti Dumas
  • Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Jala is a curious girl with a penchant for canines. In addition to playing pretend and being something of a gourmand, she spends most of her time learning new facts about animals - especially wolves. One day, after being severely scolded in the kitchen, she returns to her room and is only a little surprised to find that a mysterious mirror has appeared. Like Alice's looking glass, the mirror in Jala's room is only the beginning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lost in the Adventure

  • By Candace Ruffin on 11-17-15

A beautiful story from a mother to her daughter

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-15

“Jala and the Wolves” was written by a mother for her daughter and you can hear it in the story. Narrated by the author, she sets the tone of her story with her breathy voice and purposeful cadence. She lets the story pour out of her like syrup. She never rushes and the story could easily be played from car ride to bedtime.

Jala is a curious, intelligent, bean-pie-loving girl with an encyclopedic knowledge of animals. When a mirror appears in her room as she waits for breakfast the day before thanksgiving, it transports her to a place where she becomes a leader at her young age. She has a special connection with wolves that fuels her adventure. She absorbs information like a sponge, and in her adventure all the facts she devoured guide her with the wolves.

The vivid language pulls you into the story. The way she describes how things look and smell is accessible even to younger readers. There are some elements that may be a little heavy for younger children but many themes run through the book that can spark a dialogue about animals, family, and responsibility.

There were two things I really loved about this book that made it really stand out among other children’s books and chapter books. The first was how the wolves communicate. They don’t speak to each other but allow expressions and smells to convey messages to each other. Instead of making the wolves anthropomorphic, they are left as wolves and we are given a more authentic-feeling story with animals.

The second was that though Jala is beautiful, it isn’t a main component of the story. It’s a side note. Jala’s looks don’t advance the story or come in handy. Jala relies on her intelligence and resourcefulness to solve problems.

This audiobook is a solid pick to share between parents and children. It clocks in at just over an hour and should this book become a favorite to my little one, I’d be inclined to pick up a hard copy of the book to read aloud and provide my own interpretation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful