The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot by Josh Gottsegen is a really great story for both children and adults. When I was first introduced to to this book, I knew my own kids would love it. I read it myself and even though it’s a wonderful book for middle school kids, it also kept me interested. It reminded me of Fievel Goes West or Rescuers Down Under meets The Hobbit. It’s full adventure, finding oneself in the world, and many lessons about perseverance and never giving up. I have to say, Josh Gottsegen wrote a fantastic gem! Or maybe you could call it an “unshelled diamond“.
About the Author
“Los Angeles native Josh Gottsegen has a background in filmmaking and digital media and is the author of “Joosh’s Juice Bar,” an early elementary school children’s book series that encourages healthy eating habits through vivid illustrations and Dr. Seussian-style rhymes. Earning his BA in Film Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, Gottsegen has won numerous awards for his short films and video productions. Starting professionally at NBCUniversal Interactive, later Josh Gottsegen moved into editing as well as other creative projects for the Walt Disney Company, Fox Corporation, IMG, and the NFL.”
The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot Book Synopsis
“As a young chipmunk, shy, bookish Rockford T. Honeypot had dreams of thrilling adventures across the forest. However, timid of danger and germs, his only adventures were found in books and his imagination. When his family abandons him after a mistake that destroys their hazelnut business, Rockford sets off on a legendary journey beyond his wildest dreams. From exploring cuisines with a famous chef, training with ancient warrior monks, flying on giant hawks, finding true love, and much more, Rockford recounts his epic origin story of hardship, perseverance, and fortune.”
Green Hut Market 39
Rockford T. Honeypot is now an old chipmunk. He owns his own company, Honeypot Inc that owns all the Green Hut Markets in Tropland. He and his great grandson, Theo visit one of the Green Hut Markets (Market 39 to be exact). The Green Hut Markets offer a variety of foods for all the animals in the forest including foods that are out of season. As you read Rockford’s story, you will soon find out what makes the markets so special. Anyway, when Rockford and Theo arrive at the market, there ends up being a long wait. A couple of the animals that were there asked Rockford to tell them a story about one of his many adventures. He was well known for them. And so he begins at the beginning. The Rockford T. Honeypot origin story!
Rockford T. Honeypot’s Origin Story
Rockford’s father’s name was Clarence. Same as his father, and his father, and his father. They owned the company CC&C. His father was always cross and seemed to always be angry about something. He usually ignored Rockford. He had 25 sisters and 36 brothers. His brothers were all named Clarence. Rockford was the only non-Clarence and the runt of the family. He was also the only one who wore glasses. He loved reading his books, had an imaginary friend named Norby, and was afraid of germs. You will quickly learn what Paw Soap is because Rockford always had to have some with him. Other than his imaginary friend, his mother was his best friend. He always wanted to go on adventures and find ways to better the forest for all the animals.
He was always picked in by his brothers, Clarence 1-26 and a neighbor chipmunk their age when he was growing up. When he was 13, his father left him in charge of his company while he and his mother went away for a while. He didn’t want to burden any of the Clarences with it. His brothers took advantage of him and as a result his father lost his business. Because of that, he was abandoned by his family although his mother told him where they were going and she was hoping he would follow shortly after them. But Rockford decided it was time for his own adventures and set out on his own.
The Evening Musk
Shortly after the start of his adventure, Rockford finds himself in a little trouble and a muskrat named Eve helps him out. She becomes his first friend out in the world on his own. She has a restaurant called the Evening Musk. While Rockford spends time with Eve and her cook Farley, a prairie dog. Rockford had never heard of cooking before. With his family and other chipmunks he has known, they always just ate raw nuts, veggies and fruits. He never thought about putting them all together before. This was also the first time he had ever seen kitchens and kitchen fires.
While learning how to cook, maybe Rockford will find a new way to cook himself! After spending some time with Eve and Farley, it was time to move on when Eve leaves her restaurant to go on a cooking tour. While my son was reading his book, he had some laughs when Rockford was with Eve. There’s a bit of hilarity that happens in the kitchens.
He wasn’t sure where to go after leaving Eve and Farley as he looked off at the Alpine Mountains in the distance. His mother once told him that Captain James T. from his adventure books used to climb the highest mountains to obtain one of the lights in the sky to pay for his many adventures. She called them unshelled diamonds and in the right paws they can change the forest for the better with their glow. And so that’s what he set out to do.
However, there were some dangers while climbing the mountains. Thick fog and “sharp teeth” were about! But he just may get some much needed help from some fellow chipmunks.
The Mindful Monks
The Mindful Chip-Monks’ gardens were beautiful. As I was reading this book, I was reminded of Rivendell from Tolkien’s books. Even the Monks’ manners kind of reminded me of the elves of Rivendell in a way. Rockford thought the gardens were the most beautiful place he had ever seen. He agreed to stay with them for one year although he was free to leave at any time. While there, he learned about gardens and how to garden. He just may have learned enough to start his own business one day. But it wasn’t just about gardening and learning physical skills, maybe there are some valuable life lessons he learned as well.
His stay with the monks was extended after a series of unfortunate events. He couldn’t just leave them. Rockford may just learn what an unshelled diamond really is and what his mother really meant many years ago.
His adventures continue after his stay with the Monks. Not limited to learning how to fly on giant hawks which by the way is much different and more exciting than hitching a ride on transport geese! He made many more friends and even found love. His adventures eventually turned into life adventures.
I really liked reading The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot. My 11 year old son thoroughly enjoyed it. After he and I both read it, my oldest daughter also read it. She’s actually in the middle of it right now. Throughout the book, we were transported back to the Green Hut Market every once in a while. That’s one of the things I really liked about it. We were taken back to the present day Rockford and all the animals that gathered around to hear his story. There is even a woodpecker named Holly who films it live on Whisker (the animals’ version of social media). Theo also shared wise cracks with a monkey named Randy. My son thought some of their shenanigans were pretty funny.
There are so many life lessons in this book. The lessons that Rockford learned himself stayed with him throughout the years. They helped him through tough times, scary times, how to be a good father and family chipmunk. It’s about perseverance, never giving up, going after your dreams, and the importance of giving a helping hand. Family ties are also a big part of this story. It’s also about forgiveness. Even though Rockford’s family abandoned him, he never gave up on them. He even looked for them a few times throughout the years.
We loved this book. There is a lot of adventure. As an adult, I thought it was fun to read. As a parent, I think The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot is an amazing book to put on your child’s summer reading list!
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Disclaimer: Â I was not compensated for this post. However, I received free signed book mentioned in this post from the publisher/author for my use and review. Â All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway or collaboration with DustinNikki Mommy of Three, please email Nicole Anderson at [email protected]