'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Review: The Giant Jumperee

A pairing of two greats such as Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury came with high expectations, but The Giant Jumperee did not disappoint.

The story is about Rabbit. Rabbit wants to go inside his burrow, but a giant jumperee has taken up residence in there, and it wants everyone to know its as scary as can be. 

Cat, Bear and Elephant all try to help, but the Giant Jumperee calls out a warning to each of them, and none are brave enough to enter the burrow and face the mysterious creature… until Frog comes along.

The story is a rhyming/non-rhyming hybrid, with most of the story delivered in non-rhyming text and only the Giant Jumperee’s dialogue delivered in rhyme (and it is flawless rhyme). 

Sometimes rhyming/non-rhyming books are hard to read, but in The Giant Jumperee, the transitions between the two styles are invisible, and I never once got caught out or confused as I read the story aloud.

As far as style goes, I would liken The Giant Jumperee more to Donaldson’s The Paper Dolls and One Ted Falls Out Of Bed. It’s a touching and fun story with a heart-warming surprise ending parents might predict but kids likely won’t.

Oxenbury’s illustrations are, as always, just beautiful. They bring a special kind of warmth to the story, wrapping you up like a ginormous hug. And with the combination of such beautiful words and pictures, I can see this one becoming a classic. 

With themes of love, family, friendship and growing up, this is the kind of feel-good book that’s perfect for bedtime. Lovely story, beautiful illustrations and a satisfying ending. What more could you ask for? 

Title: The Giant Jumperee
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $24.99
Publication Date: 18 April 2017
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780141363820
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book

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