Friday, 13 February 2015

Ready, Steady, Jump! by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds

Ready, Steady, Jump! is a lovely picture book which celebrates individuality. Meet Elephant who, desperately wants to be the same as the other baby animals. Why can't he jump like they can? He sets out to prove the others wrong, but alas, no matter how hard he tries, he just can't jump. Then, one day, he discovers there is something he can do which none of the others can!

This is a beautifully told story, ideal for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 as a read aloud story. It illustrates the very important message that everyone has a gift or talent and is good at something. Ready, Steady, Jump! would provide the perfect stimulus for a topic on difference and individuality. Children in Key Stage 1 could explore Elephant's feelings throughout the story. This could readily be done through the use of thought bubbles or hot-seating. 

Adrian Reynolds' bright illustratrations bring each of the characters to life. Children and adults alike will find all the baby animals loveable. The facial expressions are superb. We have the determined concentration of baby Elephant (tongue sticking out as children often do), amusement of the other baby animals, puzzlement, concern, joy and on Monkey's face, bewilderment (which I think is my favourite).

Other stories which could be read alongside Ready, Steady, Jump! are Alexis Deacon's Beegu about an alien creature that doesn't 'belong' and, of course, David McKee's Elmer. Each focuses on a slightly aspect of difference.

publisher: Andersen Press
Publish date: 2015
ISBN: 978-1-78344-172-3


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