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Planning a Maine Adventure? This delightful children's book may just guide you to your perfect visit to Vacationland

"Blueberry and Jam: Adventures in Maine" by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a delightful children's book that follows the adventures of Blueberry the cat and Jam the mouse as they explore the scenic beauty of Maine. The story is an engaging blend of fun and education, showcasing various landmarks and natural wonders of Maine, such as Acadia National Park, Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, and Boothbay Harbor.

Key Elements of the Book:

  1. Adventure and Exploration: Blueberry and Jam embark on a road trip to explore Maine's top tourist spots. Their journey includes outdoor activities like fly fishing, hiking, and swimming.

  2. Friendship and Togetherness: The story emphasizes the strong bond between Blueberry and Jam, illustrating the joy and importance of sharing experiences with friends.

  3. Educational Value: As the characters visit different locations, readers learn about Maine's geography and cultural highlights, making the book both entertaining and informative.

  4. Beautiful Illustrations: The book features vibrant and picturesque illustrations by Irina Prisacaru, bringing the story and the landscapes of Maine to life.

Publishers Weekly Review
Known for its rugged landscapes, abundant forests, and pristine beaches, Maine has been rightly celebrated as “Vacationland” for generations. In Hamilton-Guarino’s adventurous picture book for children, a young cat named Blueberry is eager to check out all his home state has to offer. He sets out on a road trip with his best friend, a mouse named Jam, to hit some of the top tourist spots, notably Acadia National Park and various lakes, lighthouses, and mountains. Their itinerary includes exciting outdoor activities such as fly fishing, hiking, and swimming, with both friends eager to try new things while munching on as many wild blueberries as they can gather.

This inviting story serves primarily as a celebration of what makes the Pine Tree State so special, but it is also a testament to the power and importance of novel experiences and strong friendships.

Throughout their wanderings, Blueberry and Jam never leave each other’s side, clearly taking as much delight in being together as they do from the breathtaking scenery. They also meet new individuals who take them on excursions and expand their horizons, such as a hiker on Mount Katahdin who has traveled 2,160 miles from Georgia. This will inspire kids to explore and be open to new encounters.

Irina Prisacaru’s picturesque illustrations show Blueberry and Jam grinning amidst idyllic scenery, mostly wearing shirts and hats that say things like “best friends” or “I love Maine.” Charming and vibrant, the pictures show the two friends enjoying familiar activities like roasting marshmallows around a campfire, bouncing a beach ball, or thoughtfully writing in their journals. The coastal scenery is also faithfully reproduced, with one of the most exciting stops being the Thunder Hole, where water sprays into the air from between jagged rocks. Following these two pals on their trip will inspire kids to plan an adventure of their own.

Takeaway: Blueberry the cat and Jam the mouse go on a road trip together around Maine.

Comparable Titles: Karel Heyes’s The Summer Visitors, Katie Clark’s Grandma Drove the Lobsterboat.
Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A-
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B+


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