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Summary: We embark on a journey through the jungle to meet the animals who live there. A short 4-5 line rhyme introduces us to 13 different animals, accompanied by brightly colored illustrations. In addition, there are 3-stanza poems that introduce and conclude the book. This rhyming board book offers poetry, object identification, and fun.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 4; read yourself: 8 and up
Interest Level: 2 to 5
Reading Level: 4.4
Age of Child: Read with boys ages 2 and 4.
Young Reader Reaction: My children had a strange reaction to the book. They really liked it, but in the following ways:
-- They liked the introduction page because they got to investigate and identify the animals (jaguar, gorilla, tiger, et al).
-- On the opening page, you see a view of the jungle from the outside, but all we see of the animals is a small portion of each (the tail of a tiger, the nose of a crocodile, the antlers of the gazelle, etc.). The rest is hidden behind the trees, in the leaves, etc.
-- On each 2-page spread there are 3 small, teeny ants. My children ignored the main characters on each page in order to concentrate on locating 1-2-3 ants! (They are VERY small!)
Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the opening rhyme, the opening illustration, and the ants on each page. The illustration colors are very bright: all the colors of the rainbow, common "kids" colors, very cool! I was a bit underwhelmed by the depictions of the animals and backgrounds. Fun, but not very realistic. I just don't feel like we got a whole lot out of the book other than a bit of fun.
Pros: This fun, colorful book encourages investigation, from the identification of animals to discovering hidden objects.
Cons: The rhymes for each individual animal were awkward -- they had different rhyming schemes (some A-B-A-B, some 5-line limerick style), so you didn't know what rhythms to apply to each page. The rhymes were unsophisticated, and one of them -- the chimpanzees -- ended saying that if they couldn't find nuts to eat, they'd eat each others' fleas. Not particularly appealing to my personal taste. The Zebra also thinks his stripes are cool because his girlfriend thinks they are handsome?
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun book to look at despite the awkward rhymes.
Educational Themes: With toddlers, you can introduce and identify animals and other jungle objects (nuts, trees, etc). The first few reads offer a chance to "guess" what the animal might be.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.