Jump!

Tatsuhide Matsuoka, trans. from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano. Gecko, $12.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-776572-31-1
This exuberant board book by Matsuoka still feels fresh and unique 19 years after its Japanese debut. Animals defy gravity—and the volume’s modest trim size—by leaping vertically from recto to verso (or, when the book is held sideways, as intended, simply up). The animals are each introduced simply (“A frog jumps,” reads the initial spread), then the page turns and the action begins. Realistically detailed animals with stoic expressions and flamboyant moves lend a delightfully absurd mood, and ample white space creates an elegant background for the bouncers’ energy. Encouraging the reader to create each leap anew, onomatopoeic “Boing!”s are rendered in different orientations, sizes, and colors to offset the repetition, and one animal amusingly fails to catch any air, though not for lack of effort. Finally, a pigtailed child (“And I jump, too”) brings the action back home. As a book to inspire movement, this one bounds. Ages 2–4. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 08/08/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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