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HENRY IN A JAM by B.B. Bourne


From the Everything Goes series

by B.B. Bourne & illustrated by Simon Abbott

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-195819-9
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A genial elementary reader that taps into the electricity generated by Brian Biggs’ Everything Goes: On Land (2011).

This book has been designed to share with very beginning readers, as Bourne’s text amply illustrates in its simple repetitions: “ ‘Woof, woof, woof.’…The dog wags his tail. The dog does not want to stop. The dog wants to see.” Then there is the truck honking—“Honk, honk, honk!”—at the tree that has fallen across the road, causing the traffic jam that is the story’s pivot. Though the text can feel overly purpose-driven, and the words more to be absorbed than befriended, such is not the case with Abbott’s artwork—“in the style of Brian Biggs,”according to the title page—which is amiability itself. The line work is crayon bold, and the color so saturated it is thick as fudge. But there is something else lurking in the illustrations, something Claymation-tangible, which may arouse the urge to bring them home and introduce them to mother. If one of the objects of an early-early reader is to keep the reader focused, this artwork immeasurably helps.

Traffic jams, it turns out, can be good fun, and children might even learn a word or two. (Early reader. 3-5)