cover image Norma Jean, Jumping Bean

Norma Jean, Jumping Bean

Joanna Cole. Random House Books for Young Readers, $3.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-394-88668-8

In this Step into Reading book, Norma Jean, kangaroo, jumps past her friends on the way to school. And her jumping gets in the way of playshe knocks down frog Neal'stower of blocks, spills pig Sara's milk, bounces Ted the bear off the seesaw and splashes a cross porcupine named Amy out of her pool. One mean remark from a friend, and Norma Jean has had it. She starts walking through puddles instead of jumping, and declining jump roping and jumping contests on Field Day. But when good-hearted Norma Jean cheers for her friends, she just has to jump; the kangaroo regains her congenital itch to hop. A winning story about the natural traits of individuals and the recognition of true identity; readers will see that there's no point in going against the grain. Munsinger's animalsannoyed, then overjoyedare some of the most endearing around. Ages 58. (May)