The Adventures of Papa Lemon’s Little Wanderers: Meeting Dr. Luther King Children’s Book Review

*I received product mentioned in this post for free in exchange for my review and feedback. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Recently I received the opportunity to review a children’s book, The Adventures of Papa Lemon’s Little Wanderers: Meeting Dr. Luther King. This is book 1 in this series by Lehman Riley. He has written other “Little Wanderers” books too. There are 7 books in the series (the 7th – Abraham Lincoln and the Battle with Depression is new). I love his books because each one takes young readers back in time to learn about history, culture and historic people in a fun and imaginative way. Lehman Riley gets his inspiration from his grandfather, Papa Lemon who happens to be everyone’s grandfather in this series.

A little about the story

“Papa Lemon and Mama Sarah are the neighborhood grandparents in the small town of West, Mississippi. Papa Lemon helps five multi-cultural friends learn about our nations diverse heritage by sending them back in time via a magical train. The friends visit Dr. King at his famous “I Have A Dream” speech and learn the qualities of being a great leader.”

The story begins at school and all the kids in the classroom was waiting for the weekend to start. But before they could all leave, their teacher gives them a history assignment. Their homework was to report about an American leader from history. There are five friends who couldn’t decide just yet. These friends are the “Little Wanderers”. On their way home, they decided to stop by Papa Lemon’s house.

The kids wanted to know how he learned all about our history and so he tells them a story about how he rode a train with his father but he had to always get his school work finished first. The train helped him learn history and so he tells them how. He later worked for the train yard like his father did and when that same train had to be replaced, he was allowed to keep it. So they got it to his house and he built a shed around it and while working on his train, he had found out that he built a time machine. There’s a secret to how he was able to turn it into a time machine but I’ll leave that bit out.

Anyway, that’s how he learned everything about our history. He kept his time traveling secret all these years until he told them about it. He was too old to be traveling anymore so he lets the kids take a ride to where they want to go. With rules of course. They couldn’t change anything and they couldn’t tell anyone they traveled back in time. They decided they wanted to hear Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, so that’s where they went! They only got to hear half the speech but they got to meet him. 

By talking to him they learned about Dr. Martin Luther King’s passion for equal right of all people and his passion for respect and what it took to be a great leader. After that the kids were excited to go back and tell Papa Lemon about it and to tell their class what they learned over the weekend when they gave their report.

This book is a short chapter book that my almost 9 year old enjoyed reading even by himself. The illustrations are beautifully done and placed in the text here and there throughout the text. You can see some examples in the photo above. I really like this format because even though there are breaks for chapters, it’s kind of nice for young readers to have a break in the text here and there. For my son, the text wasn’t that much more complex than the kind of books he’s already been reading. I do love that the illustrations give details and context to what is going on in the story text as well.

Overall we really liked this book. I will definitely be checking out the other 6 in this series. I love how they are like history lessons mixed with fun, laughter and imagination. I think it’s a great way for younger kids to get more interested in history. I love the diversity and different cultures these books include as well. I love that there are books out there like this for my son to read. I highly recommend them!

For more information, please visit the Papa Lemon website. There you can read more information about all the books and where to buy them. You can buy from the website or even click to buy from amazon. 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. However, I received a free copy of the book mentioned in this post from Papa Lemon Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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