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Great Illustrated Books

Jamberry

Bruce Degen

HarperCollins
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 3-8
ISBN: 978-0060214166

Long summer days filled with lazy floats down river, lounging with your best friend, soaking in the sun's rays, and finding adventure. This silly and delightful poem tells the tale of a young boy and his best friend exploring their woods, river, and town, has been a favorite in our home with regular requests into the nightly reading list.

While we never learn the name of the little boy or his bear guide, we do learn so much about them through the delicate and light-filled illustrations. Our little man is having the best day of his life surrounded by dozens and dozens of different shapes and sizes of berries. Sure, there is the titular Jamberry and standard blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. But let's also not forget the Quickberry, Quackberry, Trainberry, Trackberry, and, of course, the Clickety-Clackberry. Though, my favorite is probably Razzamatazzberry. If there is a heaven, I fully expect to someday taste a moon berry. 

One part Baloo the Bear (whose impersonation, by the way, I recommend using when reading to your little one. Something about his voice makes this jam jamboree work even better) and one part Willy Wonka, our big bear friend shows us a lazy, wonderful path through harvesting, enjoying, celebrating, and being surrounded by our favorite berries. He guides us through the woods, down-stream, into the town, on to a train and into the sky. All the while showing us the berry wonderland around us. 

If you've ever spent warm summer days harvesting berries, this lovely little book will take you and your little one back there. If you've ever basked in the flavor of a ripe berry or been transported by the smooth, tart sweetness of a wonderful jam, you'll find that moment here. If you've never had these moments, then this board book will take you and those you read it to there for the first time.

Suitable for children three and up — and anyone who loves a ripe blackberry. 

Reviewed by : A Freeman

Themes : Friendship, outdoors

If you love this book, then try:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr.
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Critics have said

"An inimitable feat and feast for all ages." - Publishers Weekly

"This is the catchiest rhyming book you'll ever read, and the illustrations of a little boy and a bear frolicking through meadows, streams, and forests of berries are so bright and happy, you'll want to go berry picking yourself." - Brightly