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The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts (A Tale of Fontania #1)
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The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts (A Tale of Fontania #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  161 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
When twelve-year-old Jasper Ludlow's parents flee the city, he gets left behind. He finds refuge on The Traveling Restaurant, a sailing ship captained by old Dr. Rocket and crewed by feisty Polly. Where is Jasper's baby sister? He journeys across seas and rivers, faces whirlpools, storms, and hungry pirates to find her. Who should he trusthis unreliable uncle, the mysterio ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Gecko Press (first published April 1st 2011)
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Mar 14, 2012 Adriana rated it liked it
Jasper is just an ordinary boy who lives in a place where the monarch is oh so adorable! Or that's what everyone says in fear so they don't get taken away. He doesn't understand how people do that. He also doesn't understand why his mother keeps on telling everyone that he is ten instead of twelve. And then he sees Lady Gall put something in his little sister's mouth and everything goes haywire after that. He's left alone and ends up going on a ship with a restaurant that has an odd set of peopl ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
*NetGalley book review*

Such a eclectic story. Being lost, chased, dealing with pirates and traveling, this book is quite an adventure for young readers. It was a good book, kind of too long for me during this story line, but still good.
Dec 08, 2015 Jana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was okay. It's about a boy who has to flee with his family from a woman who unrightfully wants to take the crown and has forbidden magic. And well, I had trouble getting into it. I didn't connect to the characters, and therefore the story didn't leave a huge impact on me, if any impact at all. But it was fast-paced and fun enough to read the whole of it and is probably a very quick and fun stor
Angela Oliver
An engaging and entertaining story set in an intriguing world. Most enjoyable.
Apr 06, 2016 Chantelle rated it it was amazing
I rated this book a 5 because not only is it my kind of book but it's full of adventure, fun, mystery and FOOD. I decided to read this book because of three reasons, the name, the pictures on the front cover and the description on the back. The description on the back of the book asked questions about the book and what would happen, this making me wonder about what would really happened compelling me to read the book. The character I found most interesting was Polly, I thought Polly was the most ...more
Kate Copeseeley
Jul 31, 2014 Kate Copeseeley rated it it was amazing
This was an absolutely delightful MG book that I picked up on a whim after a trip to the library with my kids (because I thought the title was intriguing). Well, it turns out, the writer is very good at titles. I was continually amused by the chapter titles of this book. Here are a few in order, so you can see why they're so funny:
-this is when Jasper realizes something dangerous has started
-the next day goes like this
-this is when it becomes very dangerous
-this is when it becomes very distressi
Nov 30, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: nz-books
A magical world, a nasty acting Queen, orphans, pirates and sword fights. Really, what's not to like? Jasper is a great character! Nice entertainment on a plane. I also rather perversely like that this NZ fantasy-ish book has absolutely nothing to do with NZ at all.
Jan 31, 2013 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-12, adventure
Fun adventure story about an evil woman trying to become queen and the young boy who helps foil her, with the help of a floating restaurant boat, some pirates and the "rightful heirs." Fun.
Lachie douglas
Jul 05, 2015 Lachie douglas rated it liked it
1)I decided to read this book because it was gifted to me.

2)I found the character jasper interesting because he reminds me of someone but I cant quite figure out who it is. He is smart, kind and gentle and i like him the most because he has common sense which the rest of his family don't seem to have.

3)My favorite quote from the book would be: “I'm too old to figure out the rights and wrongs of everything.” I like this quote because it is partly true and it shows why old people are such bad driv
Oct 07, 2014 David rated it it was ok
I did not enjoy this one. It didn't make me angry or want to bang my head against a wall, so 2 stars instead of 1 (no matter the meaning that goodreads chooses to attach to its star rating system). I thought the writing was poor in a variety of ways, the story and characters weren't engaging, and I think there must be something about the New Zealand sensibility that is lost on me (Flight of the Conchords, who can be very funny, also often leave me feeling "Oh, that wasn't quite as funny as I rea ...more
Yu Lam
Jan 08, 2016 Yu Lam added it
The Traveling Restaurant is one of the best young readers novels I've ever read. I think every children's picture or chapter book contains hidden, subtle meanings, like different morals and values. An act of bravery like rescuing someone from the enemy ship is seen as bravery and heroism, but the deeper meaning is talking about sacrifice, selflessness and love, which is why I love books of this genre: adventure/fantasy/action. Other examples of this type of writing is shown in the books J.K. Row ...more
Marta Boksenbaum
A clever and fun story of a young boy named Jasper whose family is suddenly forced to flee their home because Lady Gall, the ruler of their kingdom is after them. Jasper is accidentally left behind, and he takes refuge on a ship that is a traveling restaurant. On his journey he learns more about Lady Gall's tyrannical rule and how she came to power, as well as his family's role. His biggest concern is his sister Sibillia's safety, and on his quest for the welfare of his sister, he becomes involv ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
This is an interesting read. It's a middle grade novel about a boy named Jasper. His parents leave him behind when they flee from the clutches of an evil Provisional Queen. He finds refuge on a small vessel called The Traveling Restaurant. With the help of the boat's Captain and Polly (the only other crew member), he goes in search of his lost family members while trying to elude the grasp of the Queen.

The book is well written and the plot is somewhat entertaining. There are bursts of excitement
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
Jasper is turning twelve, but for some reason his parents won’t tell anyone his real age. They keep him inside most of the time and won’t let him go to school. But when he tells them that he spotted Lady Gall, the Provisional Monarch of Fontania, try to poison his little sister Sibilla, they gather up the family and bolt. What do they know that they’re not telling him?

When he gets left behind, Jasper ends up boarding a strange boat called The Traveling Restaurant, whose crew consists of an eclec
Margo Brooks
Jun 26, 2013 Margo Brooks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ja-fiction
This is a sophisticated children's book that features a dystopian land, a quest to rescue magic, self discovery, and the importance of family, along with some hair raising adventures.. Jasper doesn't understand why his parents don't have time for him or why they bow to the beautiful but evil provisional monarch Lady Gall. But when Lady Gall tries to poison his 2-year-old sister, Sibilla, the family sets off to end Gall's reign. Unfortunately, Jasper is left behind and winds up on a floating rest ...more
Peter Schott
Jan 02, 2013 Peter Schott rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Children, especially later Elementary aged children
The Travelling Restaurant by Barbara Else is a book written in three parts telling the story of Jasper Ludlow. Jasper is a young man who has just turned twelve at the time the story opens. He lives with his parents and baby sister Sibilla in the land of Fontania. We know that something isn’t right when the story opens and Jasper meets a stranger at the door who inquires about Jasper’s age. His mother, Lady Helen, quickly intervenes to tell this journalist that Jasper is 11 while Jasper tries to ...more
Gwyn Ryan
I've definitely got some interesting things to say about this one. So much complexity in a deceptively simple package. One of the things being that it took me halfway through the book to suddenly have this brain flash: This is a dystopian novel! And it is, absolutely. That fact is just a little obscured by the fact that it's not actually a future dystopia -- the world of the Restaurant is not our world at all, but a typical high fantasy world suffering from The Accident in which all magic was ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
An interesting book. I initially gave it two stars but it gave thought-provoking enough that I bumped it up to three. Probably still more like 2.5 though.

Jasper has been brought up in ignorance of his chosen one status, for his own safety. Which is fine, but 12 is a magical age in this universe, and he's drawn the eye of the local tyrant. He ends up separated from his family and having adventures, in a story that is somewhat evocative of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Pretty standard, yeah? Yeah. Th
Nov 09, 2015 Elliot rated it it was amazing

omg, this book is so GOOD!

So, this book is about a boy named Jasper, who leads an ordinary life under the tyranny of Lady Gall.
On his eleventh (or twelfth) birthday, his parents start acting very strange, and his no good Uncle Trump starts mysteriously showing up a lot.
And suddenly, they have to move, or something bad will happen, something so bad that even his parents won't tell him what it is.....
Als de ouders van de 12-jarige Jasper Ludlow hun huis en stad ontvluchten, laten ze hem per ongeluk achter. Gelukkig kan hij terecht op The Travelling Restaurant, het zeilschip van de oude Dr Rocket en zijn pittige dochter Polly. Samen met hen reist Jasper over zeeën en rivieren en trotseert hij draaikolken, stormen en hongerige piraten om zijn ouders en zijn zusje te vinden. Wie kan hij vertrouwen: zijn onbetrouwbare oom, de mysterieuze journalist in het zwart of de brutale, fluitspelende wees? ...more
Jun 22, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
I may have enjoyed this book more if I had read it out loud to my kids. The main character is twelve and goes on quite an adventure. I'm sure my kids would have enjoyed it but I struggled with how choppy the writing was and the lack of detail. When I keep in mind the audience it was intended, it is a pretty good book. Just not good enough for me to finish the series. If one of my kids gets interested in reading the series, I just might finish it.
Sep 03, 2015 Carmen rated it liked it
Honestly this was pretty damn cute. For kind of a young age but I really enjoyed it. The ending kind of let me down though. It wasn't expected and it was exciting but the ending chapter could've been much much more grand.
All in all it was quite fluffy and funny and I quite liked it.
Aug 24, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
Lovely characters! The start is a little wobbly...the reader is dropped in the middle of the story but struggling to get his/her bearings as to what direction we're heading in, who's really important to the story and who's not. It took me a little to get grounded into the story. BUT I LOVED the traveling restaurant idea! It was yummy! And showed how food can work its own magic! It's important for "American readers" to realize that not all stories are the same as those from other countries. Barba ...more
I think this is the worst book I have ever read. The author kept introducing new characters to fill up the pages. There’s no character or story development. The plot was unconvincing and forced. The story lingered on and on about the same thing. Using the Hunger Games as an example, this whole book would be at the reaping. If this book was Harry Potter, we would still be at Privet drive waiting for baby Harry Potter to come. It was obvious that the author had major writer blocks and was unable t ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I picked this off the library shelf because it looked interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm hoping I can convince y boys to read it! Entertaining, a bit puzzling, some humor, an al-around fun read, and not dumbed down for kids at all.
Jul 07, 2015 Rena rated it really liked it
I only wish the restaurant served a few more meals and got a bit more attention, because I think it was almost more interesting than Jasper himself.
Apr 07, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won the book in an online competition. I really enjoyed this story well written. Once I had finished the book I donated it to our school library.
Sarah Laing
May 07, 2011 Sarah Laing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this to Otto, my 8-year-old, and wished that I was writing a book like this myself. It was a wonderful fairy story, an adventure story, a pirate story, and a tale of political double-crossing and intrigue. Barbara obviously took on board the advice that children like lots of food because it was jam-packed with pies and poached eggs, and scones loaded with cream. One thing slightly bothered me - I didn't believe that Jasper would be so clueless about his magic powers, and ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Mamatufy rated it liked it
Jasper Ludlow begins an ordinary birthday but things quickly go sideways when an unknown uncle shows up & his family is forced to flee. The provisional monarch is out to become the true queen but must first find the absentee King, Jasper's uncle. Jasper is mistakenly left behind & finds himself journey across the vast Old Ocean with the help of some surprising & more unknown relatives to locate his family & prevent the evil provisional monarch from destroying Fontania. There's a ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Elsie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!! The vocabulary she used was great!! This is an action packed book suitable for all ages which is just a good read!
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Barbara Else is a playwright and fiction writer, and has also worked as a literary agent, editor and fiction consultant. Else won the Victoria University Writer’s Fellowship in 1999, and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature in 2005.
More about Barbara Else...

Other Books in the Series

A Tale of Fontania (3 books)
  • The Queen and the Nobody Boy (A Tale of Fontania #2)
  • The Volume of Possible Endings (A Tale of Fontania, #3)

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“I'm too old to figure out the rights and wrongs of everything.” 6 likes
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