Review: Jace’s Adventure in the Forbidden Forest

Jaces Adventure in the Forbidden Forest-3D

What young reader doesn’t like an adventure? And Jace certainly has one when he enters the Forbidden Forest to retrieve a lost baseball. His best friend Rocco urges him not to go, but Jace thinks he can go right in, and come right back out. But that does not happen, and that’s where his adventure begins.

Jace is initially scared when he encounters two dinosaurs—a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a baby Pterodactyl who hasn’t yet learned to fly. His fears are soon dismissed, and the story becomes one of friendship and caring. Jace helps his new friends solve some problems, and they help him find his way home again.

But more importantly, Jace learns that things aren’t always what they seem to be, and that just because you come from a different place, you can still be friends with someone who is not like you. When Jace returns to the real world, he shares his journey with Rocco and they change the name of the Forbidden Forest to the Friendly Forest.

Chapter books, like Jace’s Adventure in the Forbidden Forest, provide teachers with an opportunity to reinforce some basic standards, like: identify details in text including who, what, when and where; identify words and images that evoke feelings such as happiness or surprise; and identify characters, settings, main problem, and sequence of events in fiction.

Another meaningful discussion could include how people from diverse backgrounds can make contributions. Even though dinosaurs are not human beings, they can be a metaphor for people from different cultures, stimulating a discussion about ethnic diversity and not judging a book by its cover. Jace learns that lesson during his visit to this magical place.

D.W. Harper includes simple illustrations adding a touch of whimsy to this engaging story.

Reviewed by:

Jane R. Wood is the author of Schools: A Niche Market for Authors and an award-winning series of chapter books: Voices in St. AugustineAdventures on Amelia IslandTrouble on the St. John’s RiverGhosts on the Coast, and Lost in Boston.


Teacher Resources for Jane’s Books

Wood-Author Bio Media:



4 Ways Publishing Businesses Succeed

The big challenge in my publishing business is “steady” income. Some months the business earns $12,000, other months it earns $1,200. How does it survive?

Through diversifying its income streams.

January through March and June through September are slow times for book sales. During these seven months I schedule new illustration projects which generate $48,000 in illustration income. (6 contracts x $8,000 per book = $48,000)

March through May and October through November are peak months for elementary school visits. I schedule 36 school events. 36 school visits generate $18,000 in speaking income. (36 events x $500 per event = $18,000)

On average, 10% of the students I meet buy a book. Meeting 36,000 students in elementary schools generates $36,000 in book income. (3,600 students x $10 per book = $36,000)

Five weekends a year I attend book festivals that have a minimum attendance of 10,000 readers. On average, 1% of the attendees buy a book. This generates $5,000 in book income. (100 attendees x 5 events x $10 per book = $5,000)

Illustrating, speaking, book sales, and festivals are four ways my business creates a six figure publishing income. A book is a product of publishing. A publishing business is the income streams around the product it creates. Learning this helped me overcome my biggest challenge—“steady” income.

—Mark Wayne Adams, Award-winning Illustrator & Publisher of Nicholas, that’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy

Kirkus Review: “Parts of Speech Parade, New York City”

Parts of Speech Parade, New York City
Irina Dolinskiy, author
Mark Wayne Adams, illustrator

Dolinskiy’s debut picture book explains parts of speech in rhyming text accompanied by Adams’ phenomenal illustrations.

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections all appear in this rhyming text. Images accompanying the parade feature a racially diverse assortment of New Yorkers: children, adults, and animals of all shapes and sizes appear in clearly recognizable locations, beginning with the Statue of Liberty and traveling through places that include Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, and Central Park.

With wonderful pictures and well-worded descriptions, this picture book will be an excellent supplement to grade-school lessons on grammar.”

Read more of the Kirkus Review…