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)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  35 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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(showing 1-30 of 211)
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Adriana
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
Kate Copeseeley
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...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...more
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...more
Margo Brooks
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 4 of 5 stars
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 l...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...more
Marlous
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
Karen
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.
Mjohnson
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
WY
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
Jennifer
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
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
Mamatufy
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
Elsie
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!
Martha
Jasper a 12-year-old embarks on a zany adventure in a colorful round ship called the Traveling Restaurant, after his parents accidently leave him behind. Realizing his sister was poisoned by evil Lady Gall, he convinces the captain and his mate (also excellent cooks) to follow the ship carrying his family. The magic occurring within this fanciful Traveling Restaurant is intriguing, and mysterious. An original tale perfect for readers with large imaginations and the ability to follow a blend of s...more
Allison
Good book. It started off a little slow for me but good enough that I stuck with the story and I'm glad I did. I was good. The only quible I would have is I felt Jasper's frustration over all of the secrets that were being kept from him, the author kept them from the reader too. There didn't seem to be any real reason for the secrets to be kept, especially after all started falling apart.
scarlettraces
(3.5) weirdly, this made me think of Elizabeth Knox's Dream books, although they're very different (and recommended for a different age group). i think it's something in the pacing of the writing, a rhythm and flavour that seems very kiwi to me. this was smart and fun and clearly written by someone who has observed toddlers at close range.
Anna
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.
Lyn
Read this to a group of 12 year olds and both they and I were disappointed by the book. We agreed we didn't really care about the characters, could not imagine the world she had created and were generally not engaged with the story. We gave up after reading half the book.
Jaci Stickrod
The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts was a good book, takes you to a new world, it is a fantasy book. During Jasper voyage to escape Lady Gall, he meets his family members and discovers his past with The Great Accident. There is a sequel too
Amy
Quirky and offbeat. Has its ups and downs. Definitely some humor and adventure that kids may like but hard to delve into characters or story. Recommended to those looking for a fun romp and not a serious book.
Rachel
Reviewed for the Emmet O'Neal Library Children's Department. Click here to access the children's portion of the review.
Jamie
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.
Susan
Ugh! The main character constantly does the wrong thing and has it work out in the end...and not because he's not smart...this story just wasn't cohesive or compelling.
JulietA
Bought this for Elizabeth and couldn't put it down. She loved it too. Part adventure, part fantasy. Good Christmas present for boy or girl up to age 12.
Ann
I just loved the story. Jasper is an ordinary boy with a special future, if only he can survive the quest to save his baby sister.
Caitlin
3.5 - A fun adventure with great character names and food. I mean, what's not to love? It just seemed a little incongruous at times.
Mercy
Had trouble picturing this world and characters did not seem to change,but may work for someone who loves ships an dpirates
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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...
The Queen and the Nobody Boy (A Tale of Fontania #2) The Warrior Queen The Case of the Missing Kitchen Gingerbread Husbands Wild Latitudes

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