CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 5 . . . . October 28, 2005
Together, author Pippa Goodhart and illustrator Georgie Birkett have created another selection in the “Green Bananas” series. Hoppy Birthday, Jo-Jo! follows the life of little kangaroo as she learns that the inevitable transition from babyhood to being a "big girl" is sometimes difficult and unfair, but that it is a necessary change in life.
In the first chapter, “Pick a Pocket,” mother kangaroo brings home Baby Roo, and Jo-Jo realizes that she isn't the baby of the house anymore and tries to run away and hide. Her mother reassures her that she is a big girl and is old enough to invite some friends to her birthday party. In the next chapter, “Hide-and-Seek Cake,” Mom, Jo-Jo and Baby Roo shop for the ingredients needed to make the birthday cake. During the party, Jo-Jo and all her animal friends play hide-and-seek, and Mom makes a special cake. In the final chapter, “Hoppy Birthday Party,” the party continues as they play more games and Jo-Jo opens her presents. Mom and Dad have a wonderful surprise for the birthday girl - a new "big girl" bed.
As in Shout, Show and Tell!, the colourful illustrations contain overlays of real fabric, but in Hoppy Birthday, Jo-Jo! the characters are more fanciful with black crayon outlining the details in the images. With colour-washed backgrounds and real pictures as paintings on the walls, the illustrations reflect the transition between picture books and chapter books.
Crabtree Publishing Company has grouped these texts together with Flora the Fairy (2005) and The Magic Footprints (2005) to form the “Green Banana” series which serves as an introduction to their more difficult “Red Banana” and “Yellow Banana” series. The reinforced hardcover binding will withstand the inexperience of young hands, but the texts are also available in paperback. Included on the back of each cover is the appropriate ages and Guided Reading level.
Stacie Edgar is a student in the Integrated B.A./B.Ed. Education program at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.