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Mystery of the Troubled Toucan by Lisa Travis

I think we’ve found a new favorite. My 6 year-old and I sat down to read one of the Pach-n-Go Girls Adventures—Mystery of the Troubled Toucan—and when I was called away for other mama duties he just kept on reading it by himself. If that isn’t the seal of approval then I don’t know what is.

The story begins with Sofia Diaz and her father on a boat broken down boat in the middle of the Rio Negro in the Amazon rainforest. The boat’s captain is a little too shady for comfort and his nonchalance when the boat breaks sets off Sofia’s Spidey senses. She immediately flips into girl-power problem-solver mode. She and her dad are able to get the boat running again, but in the process we find out that there are parts of Sofia’s life that won’t be so easy to fix. Her parents are separating and, while there is lots to see and do in the Amazon rainforest, that fact is never far from her mind. How’s that for an engaging beginning?

Sofia and her new friend Julià discover some pink dolphins captured by poachers in the river and, with the help of a local Toucan, make a series of attempts to save them and uncover the people responsible. In a story full of interesting facts (anacondas are 300 pounds?) and helpful foreign phrases (Bom Dia!), the toucan may have been the only troubling part. Lassie style, the toucan led them around the rainforest toward the dolphins in need. My son and I weren’t sure if toucans could or would do this in real life or not. But on the upside, “Toucan IQ” has now been added to our research topic list.

The 6 year old and I both enjoyed our first Pack-n-Go Girls experience very much and have already ordered another book in the series—Mystery of the Golden Temple.

Middle Grade Fiction with supportive illustrations

Ages 5-10

4.5 stars/5


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