Review Blog

Jul 11 2011

Jolly Jack by Susannah McFarlane and Lachlan Creagh

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Little Mates series. Scholastic, 2011. ISBN 978174169 8343.
(Ages 5+) Recommended. What a treat to find a series of books which does not pander to the younger reader. Here the author has used words of more than two syllables, melding so well with the sentence that a child will have some understanding of the meaning, and be able to delight in repeating the word, rolling it around their tongues. The alliterative device too, will delight and entreat, helping the readers acclimatize themselves to new words, adding to their growing vocabulary.
Jolly Jack, a kangaroo, what else!, loves playing jokes on his friends, and the story details some of the jokes played between the group. Every possible 'j' word is used in this funny read aloud story, and I can imagine teachers, parents and students having a laugh reading it themselves or listening as it is read to them. An adult will make wonderful sue of the alliterative words in the story, adding stress and an invitations to predict what the next word might be.
The tenth in the series, Inquisitive Isabella by the same author and illustrator, has the same approach. The words all start with 'I' and include such wonderful variety of words with 3 and 4 syllables, that everyone will be involved and part of the story.
Fran Knight

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