By: Rick Quinn
Illustrated by: Sefira Lighstone
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Publication Date: September 2021
Reviewed by: Tripti Kandari
Review Date: November 5, 2021
Jazzy and Kettle - as interesting as their names sound, this new story by debut author Rick Quinn is a tale of two innocent and curious minds. It is also about their courage, prudence, and acclimatizing to life in a new place, which is just as fascinating. It is all they need: a friend to share the wonders of nature with!
New neighbors Jazzy and Kettle meet in the early morning sunlight. As Jazzy describes why she is called Jazzy, "My mom named me that because I like to dance so much," Kettle unfolds the story behind his name, "My mom calls me that because when something great happens, I make a noise like a tea kettle, like Wooooo!"
As the two innocent minds acknowledge that they both relocated from (“Um, where their Mom and Dad grew up”), Jazzy notices the abundance of flowers and grass in the distance. In telling that the flowers are indicators of spring, Kettle shares the knowledge with Jazzy of flowers' job as a messenger, marking the arrival of a new beginning. A hill distracts them as they conclude they are too young to do any job yet, but, just like spring flowers, they will "grow up and pop open."
The hill introduces them to other wonders of nature, such as the beauty of water, a cautious deer looking at them, and a tree branch, the object of nature that introduces both the kids and the readers to some important lessons. Through Kettle, the children encounter courage and learn the importance of being prudent, but they also learn that a step must be taken to witness "Tomorrow" (a new beginning?).
And finally, the two friends appear to have adopted each other's manner when they return home, hungry after an eventful exploration, and are asked how their morning went. Jazzy responds, "Wooooo!," and Kettle turns around and dances!
Jazzy and Kettle is an adventurous story for young readers that take them along on a journey that explores not only nature, but also friendship, bravery, and respect. Their perspective on jobs and their response to their previous residence (where their parents grew up) is sure to make adults smile and make them bless their innocence. In addition to the beautiful book cover, the illustrations add more color to the tale.
Quill says: While it introduces lessons children can learn from their peers and nature, Jazzy and Kettle also erases gender stereotypes, making children more comfortable around peers of opposite genders.