Jonathan! by Peter Carnavas

cover image

Ill. by Amanda Francey. New Frontier Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781921928611.
(Age: 3-6) Recommended. Humour. Jonathan loves to dress up and scare his family. He tries his dad and mum and his sister, but they all tell him the same thing, 'Not scary, Jonathan'. Disappointed, he leaves the house only to find a dinosaur. The dinosaur comes home with him and scares the family so much that they run away. A clever twist brings the story back to reality, as Jonathan learns that there are ways to scare people after all.
The seemingly simple story is augmented with witty illustrations, showing Jonathan as he tries to scare his family. The soft water colours suit the foursome, as they go about their daily tasks and activities, the warmth of the colours enveloping a loving family. I love the shadow of the dinosaur creeping over the house, and I love its stance at the door, waggling its hands around waiting to scare the family inside. Kids will love watching Jonathan's antics as well, recognising the stances he takes when disappointed.
In a classroom where different tales about being scared are under discussion, or attempts being made to make scary costumes, or a neat tale of a family, this book will suit a range of activities. And teachers and parents will make use of the repetition within the story to encourage listeners and readers alike to join in.
Fran Knight