Thursday, March 20, 2008
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner - review
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
Last year, Big Man's kindergarten teacher said of the Skippyjon Jones books, "I feel like I'm sort of being manipulated to like these books, and I really just don't." She couldn't put her finger on what she didn't care for, and I'm with her. After all, I LOVE the chalky, colorful, detailed illustrations that are both quirky and technically accomplished; I like the title character, who is both independent and imaginative, and his tattletale little sisters and no-nonsense mom, with their fun names; and I adore Schachner's use of Spanglish ("Hola, dudes!") throughout. Heck, there's even a song or two.
I think what always bugs me about these books is the plot, weirdly enough. Accompanied by his crowd of Chihuahua friends, Skippyjon Jones assumes his alter ego, Skippito Friskito the great sword fighter, and goes on an imaginary adventure in his closet. And I swear, it's the adventure story that always falls apart. Even my kids get confused looks on their faces during the part where Skippito battles the giant bee / dances with the dinosaurs / whatever. I keep reading these books though, because Skippyjon and his family are great characters and I love saying their names. You guys want to start calling me Mama Junebug Jones, you go right ahead.