A playful and kinetic assemblage of animals.
As the title implies, this volume celebrates the act of jumping, as demonstrated by nine different types of animals. A simple and elegant whimsy underlies every aspect of the book, beginning with the practical conceit of reorienting the book by 90 degrees. After each animal is introduced (“A frog jumps,” for example), an upward flip of the page reveals a picture of it vaulting skyward. Author Matsuoka has won picture-book, science-book, and children’s-book awards in his native Japan, and it’s easy to see why. The creatures in this book have a cartoonish degree of personality. The big-eyed frog, for example, smiles softly in a lazy squat; in midflight, it has a proportional, fat-bellied, anatomical correctness. The grasshopper is another striking and even startling example, all legs and head in the first picture, then legs, body, and wings fully extended midleap. Apart from lines implying upward movement, there’s a beautiful static quality to these snapshots of motion. Each jump is accompanied by a vibrant “BOING!” (or “Boi-oi-oi-oi-oing!” as the case may be), which makes for read-aloud fun for caregiver and child alike. Snails, readers learn, are predictably poor jumpers. “And I jump, too,” announces the young, Asian-presenting child who executes the final leap, placing humans in context within the animal kingdom.
Delightful--pounce on it! (Board book. 1-4)