Jumpy Jack and Googily

Meg Rosoff, Author, Sophie Blackall, Illustrator , illus. by Sophie Blackall. Holt $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8066-7

Irony reigns in this droll story as a trepidatious green snail named Jumpy Jack consults his frightful-looking blue buddy. “There could be a monster nearby and I'm scared of monsters,” Jumpy Jack admits. “Don't be ridiculous,” says Googily. As the pals wend their way through flowery meadows and head home for tea, Jumpy Jack reiterates his fear, asking Googily to check in a wading pool, under the supper table, under one of their twin beds (Jumpy Jack's has a snail-accessible ramp), etc. Each time Jumpy Jack's description of the dreaded monster grows closer to Googily himself (“It might have sharp teeth and horrible scary hair.... two fingers on each hand... [an] awful tongue”). Acting out each scenario, Googily provides quaint reassurance. “I don't know where you get your ideas,” he says, or “Dear, oh, dear... What an imagination you have!” As in Meet Wild Boars , Rosoff and Blackall make a waggish team in the Laurie Keller mold, with Rosoff comically understating the obvious and Blackall providing visual punch lines. For all Jumpy Jack's naïveté and Googily's weirdness, they make a winsome pair. Ages 3–8. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/26/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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