Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Skippyjon Jones: Cirque de Ole, written and illustrated by Judy Schachner. Dial, Penguin. 2012. $19.00 ages 4 and up

"Up Up Up
they climbed until they
formed a perfecto tower
of tiny, trembling
And beneath
the tower stood
the power, tough
and shaky as five-
day-old Jell-0."

Ardent Skippyjon Jones fans are sure to be delighted with this thrilling escapade. He remains the same stalwart pretender that he has always been...believing himself to be a chihuahua rather than a little kitty when embarking on each new adventure.

Is it a dream of most children to be part of a circus? Well, Skippyjon certainly dreams of being a high-wire walker and his Mama is concerned. In six previous tales, he has always managed to do what others think is ridiculous, or dangerous, or impossible. He gets a lot of practice on the telephone wire above them; his sisters are in awe of his talent. Mama is not so enamored of his recklessness. She thinks he needs the talk:

"What did you think you were doing up there?
You and those squirrels
on a wire in midair?
What if you tripped
and fell on your head?
You'd have to spend months
in a hospital bed!"

She fears her son believes the nonsense that cats have nine lives. She shuts him in his will know what that means if you are a fan! Into his closet he goes, dons a new disguise and is off to perform with los chimichangos. Muscles pumped up with a bike pump and set to be the base for a Chihuahua tower, the chihuahuas are ready. The dog whose costume they borrowed takes umbrage. Biting Skippyjon on his ballooned backside, Putzi sets off a string of events that has Skippyjon sailing up to the rafters, catching hold of el trapecio, doing a twist onto the tightrope, falling straight into the cannon which catapults him right back to his closet, and out into his room. Luckily, Mama is there to provide a soft landing, a yummy dessert and a flea collar, thanks to his latest caper.

The illustrations are as full of life and spirit as Skippyjon himself. The pages are filled with action, expression, imagination and great fun that allows young readers a chance to experience vicariously what they might otherwise miss. Skippyjon fears nothing. He remains an appealing 'kitty boy' whose stories are filled with the Spanish language of his alter ego, Skippito Friskito. Giving full attention to each turn of the page, while listening to the witty wordplay makes this a great readaloud. I love that the author reads the story on the accompanying CD and allows me a chance to practice my muy malo Spanish.

1 comment:

  1. Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.
    addiction help