A little boy imagines himself with many animals as he jumps into a puddle.
His mother admonishes, “No! No jumping in puddles! / You must keep clean today!” But the puddle whispers and tempts him: “Jump, Puddle Jumper, jump!” So the fair-skinned boy plants his galoshes squarely in the water and wishes himself away, pretending to be a frog, a crocodile, a penguin, and more. Each double-page spread focuses on one animal with a descriptive, rhyming couplet, echoing the refrain with various action words. When he is with a crocodile (green with pink polka dots), it is “Snap, Puddle Jumper, snap!” When he is with a polar bear (with purple hair instead of white), it is “Plunge, Puddle Jumper, plunge!” Each animal has a water or water-adjacent habitat—even the toucan in the rain-streaked sky. The wide variety of creatures from a manatee to a dragonfly is appreciated. However, the flattened art and lack of dramatic action hardly make this story spring. Luckily the repetition propels it forward, and the surprise ending when Mother jumps in too will make for many smiles.
The cheery, yellow-slickered tot brims with child exuberance. (Picture book. 3-6)