Jungle Boogie!

Get down at the Davenport Public Library during the jungle boogie at Family Story Time.  It should be wild n’ crazy times, with stories, songs & fingerplays devoted entirely to jungle hijinx.  Join us at the Main Library (321 North Main Street) at 10:00 am on Saturday February 27th.  After swinging from trees with five little monkeys, listening to some silly stories, and doing the tiger pokey, we’ll do jungle crafts, and generally have a jungle-tastic time!  Here are a few of the untamed tales I’ll be sharing:

If I Were a Jungle Animal by Tom and Amanda Ellery — Poor Morton is stuck in the outfield.  He is warned at the start of the book to pay attention, but he doesn’t think the other kids even remember that he is on the team.  His starts daydreaming, wishing he were on a beach, or an island, or — better yet — in the jungle!  He imagines life as a variety of animals in the jungle, each with its ups and downs.  A lion, a monkey, a giraffe, a zebra — he runs the gamut of jungle beasts until he settles on being a walrus.  (A walrus??  They don’t belong in the jungle!)  The story is cute, but it’s the hilarious cartoon illustrations that make this tale a home-run.  They are so silly, they are bound to keep kids laughing.  In fact, much of the story is told through the colorful and action-packed pictures — making this a book that’s great for kids to practice their narrative skills.  Check it out and see if your house becomes filled with a menagerie of jungle animals.

Tall by Jez Alborough — Five words.  That’s all the text that you’ll find in this fantastically sweet and funny story by Jez Alborough (the genius who wrote one of the best kid’s books of all-time Duck in the Truck).  A young chimpanzee pronounces himself “small” (word 1) until he climbs a rock and feels rather “tall” (word 2).  A chameleon comes along and stands taller next to the chimp, causing another “small” pronouncement.  Chimp gets on chameleon’s back, and once again feels cheerfully “tall.”  A lion cub comes along, taller than the two and raining on the chimp’s tall parade (causing another “small” declaration.)  Chimp gets on lion’s back, and, well, you get the idea.  He finally winds up on a giraffe’s head, feeling quite “tall” but then he has a “fall” (word 3).  Mom comes along, yelling “Bobo!” (word 4), to which Bobo replies “Mommy!” (word 5).  Whisked off in the safety of Mom’s arms, Bobo declares happily, “small.”  Amazing that so few words can tell an entire story.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that the illustrations are warm and expressive, and the story is one that children will both relate to, and feel comforted by.  Another great story by an amazing author.

Get funky on Saturday with the jungle boogie!

- Sam

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