Jag

Overview

For a small jaguar, Jag's got a great big roar, and she's a good climber, too. But the mighty hunter Jag has a secret: she's terrified of water. She worries about starting school, where there will be swimming lessons. "What if everyone laughs at me?" Jag asks her mother on the first day. Indeed, the other jaguars start jeering as soon as they hear her nickname. Just before Jag's secret is discovered, another student arrives and becomes the new object of ridicule. Torn between wanting to fit in and wanting to ...

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Overview

For a small jaguar, Jag's got a great big roar, and she's a good climber, too. But the mighty hunter Jag has a secret: she's terrified of water. She worries about starting school, where there will be swimming lessons. "What if everyone laughs at me?" Jag asks her mother on the first day. Indeed, the other jaguars start jeering as soon as they hear her nickname. Just before Jag's secret is discovered, another student arrives and becomes the new object of ridicule. Torn between wanting to fit in and wanting to help, Jag finally stands up to her peers and her fears and makes a new friend.

Young schoolgoers will be inspired by Jag's feistiness and friendliness in this story about resisting peer pressure and trying new things.

Illustrated by Richard Bernal.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Popular country singer LeAnn Rimes exchanges her guitar pick for a pen, writing a gentle, confidence-building lesson on coping with fears in her first book aimed at kids. Glowing with the soft, lush hues of Richard Bernal's deep-colored illustrations of a grassy jungle, Rimes's picture book stars a little jaguar nicknamed Jag, who makes "a terrific roar for a tiny jaguar" but who's afraid of the water. The trouble for poor Jag is that it's time to start school, and she's worried about swim class and the reaction she'll get from the other students. Armed with some sage advice from her parrot friend, Isabel ("'Well, the way I see it, you're going to have to stand up to something very soon. Either your fears or your peers.'") and some loving reassurance from Mama, Jag heads off to school. There, her fears come true: She gets jeers from the other jaguars for her nickname and for getting scared by a fish. But then, Jag gets a chance to shine. When another little black jaguar who is also new at school gets ostracized for his looks, Jag's lion-sized roar puts the bullies in place and wins her a new pal. With a tender message, moving artwork, and inspiring feline hero, Rimes and Bernal deliver a warm, loving tale that'll have you and your little ones doing the two-step. Matt Warner
Publishers Weekly
Rimes, the Grammy-winning country music star and co-author of Holiday in the Heart, pens her first picture book; unfortunately, it's a poorly paced, saccharine outing. Jacqueline the Jaguar-Jag for short-dreads the first day of school in the rain forest. The tawny, dark-spotted heroine would much rather roar at butterflies and chat with wise Isabel the parrot than take fishing, climbing and swimming lessons. "Who needs that stuff?" Jag huffs. But Isabel predicts, "You're going to have to stand up to something very soon. Either your fears or your peers." As Jag enters school, Rimes describes jeering classmates and a hostile teacher. Conveniently Jag encounters another misfit, an all-black jaguar; in telling him to stand up for himself, she musters up the nerve to intimidate her classmates with a literally in-your-face roar. Bernal's (Fifteen Flamingos) sharp palette transports readers to a tranquil, lush setting. The strongly anthropomorphic jaguars, however, look less like majestic creatures than sports-team mascots. Both the text and the art drain the drama from the setting. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This first picture book by the Grammy-award winning country music star tells the story of Jag, a young jaguar afraid of swimming lessons and starting school. Her friend, the wise old parrot Isabel, dishes advice from the branch of a tree. "If you don't face up to this fear, it will grow into a bigger problem," she says, "The way I see it, you're going to have to stand up to something very soon. Either your fears or your peers." The landscape of their rainforest home takes a backseat to images of cute, huggable orange baby jaguars on nearly every page. Jag's name elicits teasing on the first day of school; the other jaguar cubs seem to know each other already, and at night this stressful new experience brings on insomnia. On day two, the other students ridicule Jag's fear of water and a stern teacher does not help matters. Life improves when an all-black jaguar joins the class and is ostracized for having no orange fur or spots. When he starts to walk off sadly, Jag repeats Isabel's words about standing up to fears and peers, and tells him to stay. She happily befriends this classmate with differences. Friendship, she tells Isabel at the end of the story, is something she needs "much more than swimming lessons." 2003, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 3 to 7.
— J. H. Diehl
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142404522
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/8/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.02 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

LeAnn Rimes started singing at the age of two and won her first talent competition at age five. At thirteen, she released her first multi-platinum CD, Blue. Since then she has gone on to break boundaries between country, pop, and contemporary Christian music with her award-winning recordings. She was the first country singer to win a Best New Artist Grammy and the youngest to win the Best Country Vocal Grammy. She made her motion-picture debut in Coyote Ugly and also recorded four songs for its soundtrack, including the hit single "Can't Fight the Moonlight."

Richard Bernal has won many awards for his work in advertising and television, including one from the Children's Television Workshop.

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