What a great book for young action/adventure aficionados! The story was exciting, action-packed, and most importantly for some parents, age appropriate for kindergarten to second or third grade aged kids. There is a message in this book, but it doesn't beat the reader over the head, and I didn't think it was overly syrupy, either.
There were some mild fisticuffs, which I didn't think were misplaced or over-the-top, but I do think this was a slightly discordant note in the book because the story did rather call bullies out, and yet, there was mild fighting. Whatever. I certainly don't want to suggest that this book should've been more Pollyanna-ish.
My fourth grade niece thought the book was ok, but it was too young for her. She did enjoy listening to my character voices, and she enjoyed doing the animated pages for her brother. My kindergarten aged nephew thought this book was, "very awesome," and he was quite engaged by the story. I heard lots of exclamations of delight and appreciation out of him, and I believe we'll be reading the next Ricky Ricotta