“The Giant Jumperee” is written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, both ladies from Great Britain, and both ladies renowned for their body of children’s books.
In this story, there’s a mysterious “Jumperee” in Rabbit’s burrow. He tells Rabbit, “I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’m scary as can be!” Rabbit is appropriately frightened. He goes running for help and meets Cat, who assures Rabbit that he can handle this matter.
But the Jumperee tells Cat, “I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’ll squash you like a flea!” Cat is frightened and goes running away. On and on this story goes, with the Giant Jumperee scaring a bear and an elephant in addition to the rabbit and cat.
Finally, a small creature says that she can get the Jumperee out. The animals beg her not to, repeating the menacing threats from the Jumperee. But the small animal is not frightened. She goes to the burrow, and kids will LOVE the twist to the ending. And they will understand why the mysterious creature called himself (or herself) a Jumperee.
The illustrations are pure England and done in soft watercolors that reflect the misty, brightly lit British countryside. The combination of pencil and watercolor gives all the animals a soft, shaggy look, and their expressions are beautifully rendered.
Kids will not only love the twist at the end; they will also love hearing this story with its repeated actions and comforting and non-scary ending.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover picture book provided by Dial Books, the publisher, for review purposes.