Jake and his friends love to stretch, hop like frogs, crawl, jump and tumble in their gymnastics class.
In a creative segue from her books about ballet, veteran author and illustrator Isadora creates another collection of charming vignettes of a delightfully diverse group of preschoolers enjoying a similarly healthy activity. These kids are clearly having a lot of fun, and their teachers support them and help them to feel safe, especially when teetering precariously on the balance beam. The teachers also encourage creative and fun activities, such as hopping like a frog (the children croak and giggle), jumping on the trampoline, bouncing on big balls, turning somersaults, and finally spreading their wings and flying out of the gym like birds. The chubby kids’ refreshingly natural postures and body language set this book apart from renderings of more conventionally pretty children, allowing young gymnasts of all ability levels to identify. Isadora’s skillful faux naïve pencil-and-ink drawings are enhanced with interesting textures in a rainbow of oil colors. Beginning readers will be attracted to the simple text, especially to the single-word exclamations in brightly colored speech bubbles.
Readers will no doubt want to get down on the floor and do some gymnastics of their own. (Picture book. 2-6)