The Positivity of Jungledrop by Abi Elphinstone

Jungledrop is one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2020 and proof copies are like gold dust! I admit to feeling over the moon with the arrival of this glorious green book!

Written by Abi Elphinstone, Publishing May 2020 by Simon & Schuster

As I was reading this, I was struck by the over reaching messages of positivity throughout the whole story. So what follows is not so much a review but a look at some of my favourite phrases and how they fit into the story. I promise to avoid spoilers for those waiting to read Jungledrop!

I created my list of page numbers where a positive message appeared, thinking if I could find 10 great ones, it would be the perfect amount for my idea. However, while reading my list grew and I ended up with well over 20 favourites. These quotes caught me and made me think and feel deeply about the twins, the plight of Jungledrop and the relationship to our world. Let’s dive in!

“Children are remarkably bendy creatures, especially when they are thrust head first into an adventure. Just when you think you’ve got the measure of them, they twist and turn and end up surprising you altogether.” Meet Fox and Fibber Petty-Squabble (brilliant names!), twins and enemies, their parents set to rule the business world. Fox and Fibber become the unlikely duo travelling to Jungledrop. Our expectations on them are low at the beginning…will they surprise us?

“The Unmapped Kingdoms have chosen you and, when magic sets its sights on someone, it’s remarkably hard to wriggle free”. Welcome back Casper Tock, as we watch him warn Fox and Fibber about Morg. I love that Casper is brought back into the fray! Fox and Fibber believe he is just a strange old man but we know that magic chooses the heroes in the Unmapped Chronicles.

“This is the problem with letting children into your workplace: they start teaching you to hope all over again”. On their quest and adventure, help is found in unlikely places. An old apothecary, Doogie Herbalsneeze, is at his lowest, being unable to save his wife several years before. Isolating himself away, he only finds hope with the arrival of the twins. He offers them some ideas and potions to take on their journey.

“…quests are more easily won and foes more likely beaten when you have someone by your side”. Fox and Fibber are the ultimate competitors, not trusting each other or sharing their emotions with each other. As they journey, their barriers begin to come down, and the Lofty Husks know that this journey is more than just about Morg. Ever knowing creatures, The Lofty Husks , take the form of panthers in Jungledrop.

“A heart full of faith and kindness is a rare and powerful thing”. It is indeed a powerful thing, and as a reader, we know that those with the truest hearts will have the most success in the battle against Morg. Fox and Fibber both need to change what they hold in their hearts, towards each other and towards their world in general. This might be my favourite to share widely with children in all my schools- have faith and be kind. Something we all need more of at this time of uncertainty.

“The biggest mistake grown-ups make, whether they’re people or magical beasts, is thinking that tears must be hidden”. It wouldn’t be an adventure into Morg’s dangerous world without losses to grieve. “Crying over the loss of a friend shows the strength…”. For those who lose in the book, I admit to crying alongside them.

“You underestimate what you and your brother are made of, girl” and “nothing is more powerful than a child in possession of a plan”. We are nearing some big action scenes in this incredible adventure. No spoilers so I will just leave this one here for your own speculation!

As the adventure becomes more dangerous, Fox and Fibber, nearing the lair of Morg, have changed completely, sometimes in surprising ways. “if you are strong enough to pull down a wall around your heart, you can fight with the strength of a warrior”. A bold statement as the twins near the end of their journey through Jungledrop!

“…there are ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, purely because they’re kind.” Amazing messages with a huge focus on kindness is perfect for the children and adults who will delve into Jungledrop, Everdark and Rumblestar and never want to leave!

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, as I have dozens of other wonderful quotes to share with readers, is this…one that comes across in all of Abi’s books. “…the most astonishing creatures of all are, in fact, children. Because what they lack in size, they make up for in spirit”. The heroes and heroines of The Unmapped Chronicles are the unlikely ones with brilliant names, children who are fearful, untrusting or unsure of their own abilities. Learning about themselves on their journey leads to courage, confidence and love towards the end of their time in Everdark, Rumblestar or Jungledrop.

I have complete adoration for this series. Imaginative, full of wisdom and wit and messages to inspire children onwards in our world.

Abi- this is another triumph and I can’t wait for more from The Unmapped Chronicles!

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