Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I remember reading, in literature we regularly received from some Creation ministry (I can’t remember anymore which one), about the Jonathan Park audio adventures. At that time, our family did not listen to anything recorded, which means this must have been well over 20 years ago. I thought, at the time, that these stories sounded amazing—I wished they were books, rather than audio adventures. Then, after we started listening to recorded stories, we didn’t have a CD player, only tapes, for many years, and no money to buy anything extra, so I never seriously thought about buying those stories for my children, although they would have loved them. When I was offered the chance a couple of months ago to listen to The Adventures Begins, Series 1 from Jonathan Park, I jumped at the chance. I was sure my children would love these stories!
Well, I was wrong. My older children would have loved them, but the younger family (we have a 4-year gap between the older children, who are now all out of school, and the younger ones) don’t listen to the same type of stories that the older ones loved. I played a few chapters after school on rainy afternoons, but we have so few sunny days here this time of year that, when possible, I want them outside as much as they can be. So, I resorted to listening myself while I worked, and found Little Miss hanging around to hear the stories! The two boys are simply not interested. How disappointing! I enjoy these audio adventures.
There are four albums in Series 1, each containing three 26-minute episodes. These make a total of nine stories, three of which have two parts. In the first, “Secret of the Hidden Cave,” Jonathan Park and his father Kendall, a paleontologist, find themselves in a cave in New Mexico during a storm. They discover a dinosaur skeleton—but have to flee before rescuing it. There are two parts to that story, as well as the next one, “Adventure on the Aucilla River”. In this episode, the Parks and their new friends the Brenans, on whose property the hidden cave was found, fly to Florida to help with an archeological dig in a river. They also help to catch some art thieves. “Disaster at Brenan Bluff” follows, in which a dinosaur graveyard is found and lost—and Jonathan learns a lot about pride and its results.
“The African Safari” is more on the unbelievable side. The Parks and Brenans are flown to Africa to uncover hominid fossils—and find themselves involved in a grand deception. “Escape from Utopia” takes place near Roswell, New Mexico, where they find themselves caught up in another fraud! How can they escape from a bunch of crazy people who are trying to contact aliens? Then, in “The Clue From Nineveh,” the bully from school, who already caused a lot of embarrassment to Jonathan, causes more trouble at the museum. The last episode in Album 3 is “Art Heist Adventure,” and unfortunately, I haven’t had time to listen to it yet, or to the three episodes in Album 4, “Mystery at Dead Man’s Curve” and parts 1 and 2 of “The Return to Hidden Cave.” Little Miss and I plan to listen to them as soon as we have the chance.
I like the way scientific principles were woven into these stories. There were a lot of evidences for God creating the world only 6,000 years ago, and the truth of Genesis. Sometimes, the explanations got too long-winded, but most of them time they worked naturally into dialogue in the story. Most of the time, the stories were easy to follow, but sometimes, point of view switched between two sets of characters, and I got confused about who was speaking. Overall, I would say that the Jonathan Park audio adventures are very interesting, and definitely worth listening to. Click on the image below to read other families’ impressions of these stories! And, if you want to try out these stories for your family, “The Adventure Begins, Series 1” is currently discounted by 60% on the vendor’s website. Use the code jpcrew22 for free shipping for the CDs, or buy the digital download; both are the same price. There is no end date for this code.