FeaturedMiddle Grade Fantasy

The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot


Loved it! 😍

An old-fashioned, relentlessly charming middle-grade rags-to-riches animal tale

As a child, I grew up with all of the standard "animal books" - from Watership Down to Stuart Little, Black Beauty to Redwall, all the way to the Adventures of Paddington Bear. For whatever reason, it feels like the middle grade animal fantasy has long since fallen out of fashion - however, Josh Gottsegen's The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot is gloriously nostalgic, old-fashioned in style while fresh and exciting in content and quality. Rockford T. Honeypot is a chipmunk living in an a modern animal society, complete with computers, cameras, and the social media site Whisker - and during a chance encounter at the market, he begins telling his life story, in the company of his great-grandchild Theo. Over the course of the story, first the other animals at the market start listening, then news cameras show up, and soon he's telling his rags-to-riches story to millions on livestream.

Despite the modern-day humour colouring the framing device, Rockford's story is classically and hilariously mid-century. He invents roasted filberts, meets the love of his life, saves his family, and all of this while being more than a little bit germophobic! The story has its darker moments, for sure; the consequences of storms are much more severe for small woodland creatures than for humans, and Rockford has his own struggles with self-confidence. But for the most part, The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot is a romp.

The one fly in the ointment is a bit of a strange detour in the early part of the book, which trades on Asian stereotypes more than I would like. It's particularly notable given how default-British/North American everything else is, and it would be nice if every appearance of wise Shaolin monks didn't involve kung fu wisdom. However, despite an iffy trope to begin with, the book is surprisingly genuine even in this section.

I highly recommend The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot for advanced middle-grade readers and for parents to read with their kids - especially children with a fascination with animal stories as it is. And don't worry; it's got a better ending than Stuart Little.

Reviewed by

I enjoy reading new books and fiction, and have a fresh, unique perspective as a Canadian queer disabled person.


About the author

Josh Gottsegen is an optimist, dreamer, creator, and passionate healthy living advocate. As the author of the children’s book series Joosh’s Juice Bar, which promotes healthy eating habits, Josh enjoys spending time with family and exploring new adventures with his beloved dog, Olive. view profile

Published on June 23, 2020

Published by OneLight Publishing

60000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

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