Great Illustrated Books


By Scott M. Fischer

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2010
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 2-6
ISBN: 9781416978848

Infectious rhymes and rhythm will get tots jumping out of their seats in this simple tale that builds from a tiny bug to a big whale. The story takes place near a house by the water:

"Well, / I'm a bug. / I'm a bug. / I'm a snug little bug, / and I'm sleeping on a jug. Until I see a frog, / and I . . . / JUMP!"

Then it is frog's turn. He sees a cat who sees a hound who sees a croc who sees a shark who, in a splashy ending, sees a whale. In each horizontal spread, young readers will see the critter dozing as its predator sneaks up on it. The goofy, friendly expression on the stalker's face will reassure youngsters that this is just a game and in each case, the surprised target escapes with a leap. The rhyming text bounces along and the repetitious language will help children anticipate the action, leading them to gleefully shout "JUMP!" at just the right time. The type careens across the page and the bold, colorful vignettes are engaging, especially the scene of shark eluding whale for which readers must turn the book vertically for full-impact. In a twist, whale ends the book with a "SPLOOSH!" that sends all the afore-mentioned animals flying!

This clever story makes great use of the print-book format. The page-turns are essential to the experience – children will be barely able to contain themselves as they await the flip of the page and the subsequent "JUMP!" That readers must manipulate the book by turning it vertically to view a couple of climactic scenes draws them in further. While not recommended for bedtime reading, this is otherwise a perfect choice for sharing!

To see the author singing the tale, visit:

Reviewed by : JMcD


If you love this book, then try:

Barton, Chris and Tom Lichtenheld. Shark vs. Train. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010.

Lies, Brian. Bats at the Library. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2008.

McMullan, Kate and Jim McMullan. I'm Bad! HarperCollins, 2008.

Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George. HarperCollins, 1999.

Critics have said

With a simple, rhyming text and action-packed artwork, this picture book will appeal to young preschoolers, who will delight in the surprise turnaround on every double-page spread.
The cartoon-style pictures follow each verse's calm beginning to its final burst of action where the illustrations explode with the fleeing and chasing animals. These large spreads and the participatory nature of the text make this an excellent choice for storytimes.
School Library Journal