A Review of Julia Donaldson’s and Helen Oxenbury’s ‘The Giant Jumperee’.

GiantJumperee

Penguin Hardback £12.99

Blurb from Penguin Random House

ABOUT THE GIANT JUMPEREE

Two of the world’s most celebrated picture book creators, Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury, team up for the first time in this jaunty animal fable for fans of Room on the Broom and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Rabbit arrives home one day to hear a loud voice coming from inside his burrow:

“I’m the Giant Jumperee and I’m scary as can be!” shouts the stranger.

Rabbit’s friends Cat, Bear, and Elephant come to help, but they’re no match for the mysterious, booming voice. But who is the Giant Jumperee? Find out in this new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.

So what did I think?

Two stellar forces in the picture book universe, Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury, have created a beautifully reassuring story for little ones aged 3 to 5.

Full of friendly animals and gentle rhyming dialogue, the text is perfectly matched to Helen Oxenbury’s expressive characters. She know how to capture a moment in a pose! The illustrations’ greenness and colour palette from the natural world reflect the naivety of the animals in their fear of the unknown. There is an accumulative effect of the animals’ anxiety as they imagine who or what the Giant Jumperee may be, and how they can defend themselves when face to face with the scary beast.

The ending is reassuringly resolved, and just goes to show that Mum knows best! Young readers will know you should never, ever wait until Mum gets to number 3! My favourite image is the one of Mummy Frog doing the tried-and-tested eye roll, with arms folded: You can just feel what’s going on in her mind!

With the final image affirming a sense of happiness – with a loved one to hold our hand through our problems on our way through life – the ending gives the reader a satisfyingly warm and fuzzy feeling. So it’s a perfect bedtime story!

Many thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me an advance copy through NetGalley.

Happy Reading 🙂

Pippa Wilson 29th March 2017

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