In another break from my usual routine, this is a review of a children’s book. Jumper is written by Rebecca Scarberry and beautifully illustrated by Terri Kelleher.
Jumper is about a big red beach ball who lives in a toy store and longs to escape so that he can swim in a swimming pool and visit the Carnival Castle, a funfair he has heard children wonder at.
When the toy store is open, he and the other beach balls are put in a big basket outside the store. When it is windy, Jumper escapes from the basket but he keeps being recaptured by Kassie, one of the girls who work in the store.
Try as me might he can’t escape until one day…
Well, no spoilers in my reviews. I found Jumper enchanting. I could not stop myself from rooting for him each time he tried to escape with the help of Mr. Wind. I worried with him when he was in danger of being popped and shared his final… as I said, no spoilers.
When I first got the book in my hands, I tried reading it to my 2½ year-old, Sam, but he is just a bit too young for it. Jumper is a great read for kids in the four- to seven-year-old range. At almost six thousand words, it has a lot more content than most children’s books and is an ideal intermediate step between picture books and chapter books.
I never look for inner meaning in kids’ books and get a little irritated when authors try and push one at me. Rebecca Scarberry does not fall into that trap. However, Jumper does demonstrate the values of goals and persistence and joy of discovery.
I would recommend it to any parent or grandparent and if you want to be the favorite aunt or uncle, here’s your chance.
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