Books by Jakki Wood

A HOLE IN THE ROAD by Jakki Wood
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Wood's latest will be a hit with the construction enthusiasts, but her point of view keeps readers at an uncomfortable distance. When a hole is discovered in the road, workers come with a drill to break up the road around it, preparing the way for a new surface. From there, the trucks take over much of the work of hammering, digging up the hole and scooping up the debris, filling the hole with stones and asphalt, smoothing it out and finally sweeping it. Youngsters will learn the names of the different construction trucks as well as the jobs they do, but they never even get a gander at the hole that caused all the trouble in the first place: Wood's perspective is from the side, Donald Crews-like, limiting the view of readers. Nevertheless, the brilliantly colored and very detailed images of the construction vehicles are sure to please. The busy workers and watchers (of many colors and ages and both genders) will keep young readers intent on scanning the artwork for details. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Unable to resist testing his mother's admonition not to taunt the goose, one little kitten embarks on his disobedient quest, but first he must find out which of the barnyard animals actually is the goose. His first trial finds him surrounded by hens and their chicks. He attempts to test his mother's instructions, calling out "Boo, goose!" but the chickens laugh at him: "Cluck, cluck, cluck. Silly kitten. We're not geese, we're hens." Many more cases of mistaken identity follow as the kitten travels around the farm. He meets the donkey and some ducks, has a brief encounter with the dog, and finally, when he is just about to give up, he meets up with the goose. Thrilled at his success, he calls out "Boo!" The little kitten soon finds out that he should have listened to his mother's instructions as one very large, very angry goose chases him. Snuggled back with his mother, he claims that he will never attempt to taunt the goose again, but the look in his button eyes suggest that this kitten may still have some mischief in him. Stitched fabric collages illustrate this simple tale and the production gives them an almost three-dimensional quality. Buttons function as eyes and seed beads add bubbles to the water in the pond, making this a visually pleasing as well as useful exploration of farm animals and the sounds that they make. A honking good time. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

First published in Britain as The Deep Blue Sea, this is an extraordinary ocean wildlife book for beginners, in which the addition of a tiny boat'smaller than the eye of a blue whale or the bottlenose of a dolphin—creates anticipation by forecasting the journey. Wood (Animal Hullabaloo, 1995, etc.) charts the travels of a small toy boat as it bobbles in the surf off a California beach on its way to Australia, the Indian Ocean, the south of Africa, through the Sargasso Sea, and across the Atlantic, ending in a not-quite-around-the-world 25,000-mile journey to the southwest shores of Great Britain. Wind and ocean currents send the boat past manta rays and giant clams, flying fish and loggerhead turtles. Just above the line of water, single sentences of text suggest the barest outline of the boat's sojourn. The real story lies under the water where simple line drawings set against inky seas depict brown pelicans diving and puffer fish staring, gulper eels slithering and anglers waiting to lure prey. Each undersea creature is clearly labeled, matching pictures with names for easy identification. As curious as the macaroni penguins investigating the boat from an ice floe off the southern tip of Africa, children will learn a smattering of geography as they trace the boat's travels along a route marked with arrows in a final world map. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

The subtitle of this British import is a bit of a misnomer; the book begins with familiar barnyard and domestic animals at sunrise, then progresses to the African rainforest and savannah, to maritime regions and the Australian outback, and ends in North America at nightfall. There's no story, just the various noises made by the animals as they vocalize or move about their business, all cleverly reduced to print: Guinea pigs go ``Wheep, wheep,'' a chimp cries ``Hu-hu-hu hu-aa-aa-aa-a,'' gulls say ``Key-ark, key- ark ark ark!'' and a snail goes ``slither.'' A tiny gnat (``eeeeeeeeeeeeeee'') provides continuity. Expertly portrayed in fine pen and watercolor, the animals are shown to be an amiable lot; all are identified at the end of the book. A consultant from the London Zoo advised on the animal noises; Jemima Lumley, in a calligraphic tour de force, provided distinctive lettering for each of the 100+ sounds. Fun for little ones, especially just before or after a zoo trip. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
Released: March 31, 1993

Why have just one animal for each letter? Wood's alphabet has as many as five marching across her broad spreads, captioned only with their names plus the letters themselves in sans-serif resembling the style children are first taught to ``print.'' The animals interact in the cheerful procession: a chimpanzee admires the caterpillar on his palm; a hamster rides on a hippo, peering back at the giraffe whose head reaches over from the page before. Such links add a guessing game to the fun (the spotted tail at the far right of the ``I'' page belongs to what animal beginning with ``J''?); a wordless endpaper recapitulation provides a chance to recall the names and look for minor differences in position. The simple, delicately drawn animals, brightly colored in watercolor, have a vivacity and humor that are altogether charming, yet they're also realistic and recognizable. Unusually attractive. (Picture book. 1-7) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1992

In an elaboration on the model set forth in Flack's Angus and the Ducks (1930), four kittens brave the world. Each tries to scare a farm animal with the sound of a jungle animal, but comes up with only an ineffective ``miaow''; in the end, they're all chased by geese—but then, hissing and spitting, manage to frighten a pup. Several animal voices are neatly worked into the nicely shaped story, affording young listeners a chance to join in; in the simple pen and watercolor illustrations, the animals are lively and genuinely cute, without sentimentality. A good choice for the youngest story group. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
MOO MOO, BROWN COW by Jakki Wood
Released: April 1, 1992

``Baa baa, black sheep, have you any lambs? Yes kitty, yes kitty, two woolly lambs.'' From one brown cow to ten rainbow trout fry, Wood rehearses numbers, colors, and animals' names and voices in a repetitive text that will help young listeners learn, though it is not particularly imaginative. In the double spread illustrations, on the other hand, Bonner takes some unusual risks: the colors of his animals are strikingly close to their background—e.g., the orange hen and her yellow chicks are superimposed on a pale orange that might be derived by mixing the two. The result is arrestingly monochromatic compositions in which the animals are still recognizable and pleasingly lively. The appealing kitten who asks the questions ties it all together. Nice. (Picture book. 1-6) Read full book review >