Review Blog

May 27 2008

Jungle by Maurice Pledger

cover image

Summit Press, 2008. (Sounds of the Wild)
(Age 4-7) This 16 page pop-up book tells children of the sights and sounds of the jungle. Each double page spread has a host of colourful and intriguing vistas which illustrate the animals and birds which live in that particular jungle. On the following page is an explanation of each spread, with headings and a key to the preceding page. Joining the wonderful pop-ups is sound, initially scaring the pants off me, but thoroughly enjoyable to a child reading the book with an adult.

On the Australian page, for example, is a colourful presentation of the Australian bush, replete with pictures including a cockatoo, kookaburra, koala, wombat, lorikeet, as well as a kangaroo, and assorted waratah. The page opens with a squawk from a cockatoo, and following is a page which explains all that is displayed. That page entitled The Edge of the Forest, seems to include a range of animals, plants and insects common to many areas in Australia.

As with all pop-ups, the book would best be used with a child and an adult, because of the ephemeral nature of a pop-up book, and this dazzling treat is sure to engage young children with its colours and sounds. There are some problems with this book, however, I could not see why it was written or who it was written for. Is it an information book? If so, then there is a lack of consistency, no headings and titles on the picture pages, and no index or contents page. If it is a picture book just for kids to look at then consistency of the word jungle needs to be addressed, and words culled to make it accessible to younger readers.
Fran Knight

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