Review Blog

Jul 17 2012

Go, Jojo, go by Tessa Bickford

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781 74331 017 5
(Ages 5+) Recommended. Picture book. Antarctica. A wonderful companion picture book to Alison Lester's One small island and Sophie Scott goes south, this book tells of a baby penguin growing up on Macquarie Island, south of Tasmania, halfway to Antarctica. Tessa Bickford spent two summers on Macquarie Island, allowing her to get to know the fauna and flora, and take photographs of the penguin chick as it developed.
The sequence of photographs show the chick growing up once out of the egg, developing its feathers, looking all the while out to sea, where it must eventually go. Each page depicts its surroundings, the other animals, and the ever present sea. Some pages are a full colour photograph, allowing the students to look more closely at Jojo, while other pages have a number of smaller photos, showing a sequence of events. Each page has a stimulating, fascinating background, one which will draw readers in to look at what is depicted.
Several pages are standouts in photography, one depicting a skua bird about to possibly grab a penguin chick, amazing in the closeness of the beak preparing to attack, while the double page with four photos in a sequence showing the little animal as it takes to the water, is one of those moments that brings the book to life.
This is a beautiful picture book, encouraging students to know more about Antarctica, revel in the antics of these small animals and see for themselves the place parental love and companionship has in developing babies to a time where they leave home.
Fran Knight

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