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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Leap! Written by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon. Kids Can Press, 2017. $18.99 ages 4 and up

into the path
of a little grasshopper
and that sets her jumping -
no one can stop her -

glide, land,
leap and glide -
tilting a little from side to side
down and up to ... "

If you are looking to keep kids active on these freezing cold January days, get this book and read it to them! They will be on the go from the time you begin reading until you close it. They are likely to ask you to read it again.

Using poetic prose JonArno Lawson introduces readers to a variety of animals and describes for them the wondrous ways that they make their way from one place to another. His language is lively and creates images that will have kids imagining themselves as adept as the animals being showcased. He has them leap adroitly from one place to another, each time in ways that will entertain and engage his audience.


and splash
right back down
to knock off a bullfrog's
lily-pad crown.
The pond prince shows
his inflatable frown -

trudgening lightly,
croaking and nervous,
over the top of the
rippling surface - 

webbed fleet flatten,
cheeks re-fatten,
legs stretch long to ... "

And so another animal leaps to the next page!

As you might expect Josee Bisaillon's mixed media images are full of movement and detail. Looking carefully, you can see the diagonal lines and soft edges that add context for a young audience. They match the text perfectly. The creatures start out small - a flea let loose from a leaping dog as he welcomes us to the story's start. As we go they get increasingly larger until the frog startles a horse that, in turn, causes that same dog to try to keep up. The ending ensures a welcome bedtime tale ... and sleep! And the flea? You will have to see for yourself.

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