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

Saturday 14 March 2020

Review: Jump!

The littlest Quig hatched in the Cloud Tower along with his siblings. He had a stumpy tail, and weak fins.

He feared the great empty space below. This made him different. His siblings grew stronger every day, swinging, jumping and jeering at his inability to match their progress. They named him Stumpy.

Stumpy became an outsider. The others made that clear. But the little one was afraid. What was he to do?

While the others were away exploring and playing, Stumpy slowly found his way down into the street to find he didn’t know what.
All that he discovered was that he didn’t belong there either.

His siblings continued to scorn him. They dared him to jump! Told him the darkness was where he belonged.

But Stumpy was alone and didn’t want to be. He had to overcome his fears.

First he cowered and clung to a branch. Then he stood up. He crawled to the edge, and then leaped across the space to the other side. He clung limply, but clung, pulling himself up. Stumpy looked across from where he had come.

He had done it once, so he could do it again, and again, and again! And he did!

In the brilliance of morning light, his siblings found him, sitting on the edge, clutching on for dear life. Again they dared him to jump. They shouted and jeered until he left his perch and floated. Then he spread his wings and flew!

This exquisite picture book full of metaphor and symbolism is enhanced by Andrew Plant’s deliberate choice of colours.

Striking red, orange and yellows indicate Stumpy’s fears but also his courage and determination to overcome them. The dark colours symbolise the depth of his despair; his sharp sense of not belonging; his difference being the chasm between himself and his siblings.

I found this book deeply moving; stunning in every way. The wordless pages accentuate Stumpy’s determination which is projected as a powerful and decisive force; vibrant and pulsing.

Strong themes addressed are: differences, overcoming fears, self esteem, bullying, and never giving up. It comes from a talented creator that has a catalogue of successes such as Pippa, The Poppy, and Glitch being only a few.

This book stands out and is outstanding!

Title: Jump
Author/Illustrator: Andrew Plant
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing, $16.95
Publication Date: March 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925804461
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book