Ashley's Unforgettable Summer is a humorous story that will find you and your child laughing at the many misadventures that flow through its pages.
Ashley's parents surprise her with an announcement that they are all going to Africa. The ride and the accomodations are very different from what Ashley is used to. The surprises just keep coming, when Ashley finds out she is going to be allowed to take a pet home with her. Little did she know how challenging taking care of that pet would be.
Ashley's Unforgettable Summer is charming and funny. It has a format slightly different than I would expect from a children's book. The reader starts out in the present day with Ashley and her friend, Rylee trying to keep Tina, the chimpanzee from getting into mischief...and failing miserably. Then the reader is brought back to how Tina came to live with Ashley and moves forward from that point. The book was a bit long for my four-year-old daughter and she didn't like that some of the pages did not include illustrations, but the target audience for this book is stated as 9-12 at Amazon.com, so slightly older readers probably won't have an issue with those things.
My one challenge with the book is that you can tell it's written by an adult. Ashley and Rylee act like frustrated parents over Tina's constant getting into trouble. They complain of being worn out and wonder if it's worth the aggravation. Ashley has trouble dressing Tina because she won't sit still. Ashley even says, "You don't listen to a word I say." In essence, the girls don't really act like girls.
Charr Floyd should be commended for his vibrant and detailed illustrations that worked so well against the more subtle colors of the other pages, which changed throughout the book: soft greens, yellows, blues, pinks, peaches, and purples.
Ashley's Unforgettable Summer is a fun, enjoyable read.