Blue the worm, Barry the frog, and Pancakes the bunny decide to enter a sundae-making contest. Their ideas are simple at first, but once they see other contestants using elaborate ingredients, Barry feels they need something special in order to win. He leads the group on a perilous journey to Mt. Choco to get the best ice cream in the universe. They find helpers along the way, but all require a price for their service, from the Easter Island head that needs Blue to rescue the sunglasses he’d accidentally eaten, to the penguins who give directions to the Yeti’s Cave in exchange for a ride there. In the cave, the Yeti requires a dance performance in order to turn over the chocolate ice cream, but Barry’s performance fails to bring the necessary funk. Blue and Pancakes must not only impress the Yeti to get the ice cream, but also find Barry and make it back in time for the sundae contest. Unfortunately, the “best ice cream in the universe” doesn’t live up to its reputation, and Blue, Barry, and Pancakes lose the contest. But Barry still gets the real prize: adventure with his best friends.
The book features enjoyable bonus material including pictures of dance moves from the three friends, Blue’s spelunking tips, instructions for making a mini-comic, and a diagram of the Greatest Sundae in the Universe. The full-color comic-style illustrations are attention-getting and humorous. The characters are endearing and young readers will find them winsome. The panel structure is simple, typically with only a few panels per page and several full-page spreads. While the story and text are simple enough for emerging readers, the book is entertaining enough for older children and adults to find amusing, particularly the tongue-in-cheek humor and the wordplay involving the character names. The titular characters are not the only food-related trio, as they encounter a three-animal band called Banana, Nut, and Bread along their journey.
Danger on Mount Choco is a delightful installment in the Blue, Barry, and Pancakes series. The characters demonstrate close bonds of friendship and loyalty and they persevere on their quest despite obstacles. When Blue and Pancakes want to quit, they return to Mt. Choco in order to save Barry. The book has enough silliness to entertain young readers, but positive messages about friendship, loyalty, and dealing with adversity are prominent. Fans of series like Dogman, The InvestiGators, and Agent Moose will enjoy this series. Danger on Mount Choco, along with the rest of the Blue, Barry, and Pancakes series, is a great addition to youth graphic novel collections.
Blue, Barry, and Pancakes, vol. 3: Danger On Mount Choco
By Dan Abdo, Jason Patterson, Kelly Jahng
Macmillan First Second, 2022
Publisher Age Rating: 4-8
Series ISBNs and Order
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11)