Juba This, Juba That

Overview

Traditional ?juba? rhythms have a long history. They originated in Nigeria as hand-clapping games. People who were brought to the New World as slaves fought hard to keep their culture alive against terrible odds. They transformed ?juba? rhythms into work songs that were passed down orally.

Juba This, Juba That is based on one of the most popular songs. With its strong beat and read-along repetition, it will delight small children. Along with all the fun there?s also fascinating ...

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Overview

Traditional “juba” rhythms have a long history. They originated in Nigeria as hand-clapping games. People who were brought to the New World as slaves fought hard to keep their culture alive against terrible odds. They transformed “juba” rhythms into work songs that were passed down orally.

Juba This, Juba That is based on one of the most popular songs. With its strong beat and read-along repetition, it will delight small children. Along with all the fun there’s also fascinating history and concepts including opposites and prepositions. Children will have fun discovering the story told in the art about a boy named Juba who follows a mysterious yellow cat on a magical, middle-of-the night adventure that leaves them both happy and ready for slumber.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…Becker’s simple rhyme plays with opposites and is just right for clapping and bouncing along. Lightburn’s lively illustrations perfectly capture the joy of the nighttime escapade and extend the story. The boy and cat are set against backgrounds of diagonal streaks of cool colors that aptly convey movement and a sense of fantasy. This is a good choice for reading aloud to an active group of youngsters.”
School Library Journal
 
 
“Toronto author Helaine Becker draws on catchy Nigerian “juba” rhythms for her latest picture book…. Based on one of the most popular juba songs, Becker’s verses have an open-ended quality that urges movement and participation, and encourages readers to fit their own words into the driving beat. Lots of repetition and strong verbal rhythms are used to present concepts like in/out, big/small, near/far, and left/right, which are reinforced by the accompanying artwork of Governor General’s Literary Award-winning illustrator Ron Lightburn. Vivid against the shaded blues and greens of the background, a young boy in red pyjamas and his yellow cat dash off on a fantastic midnight adventure to a fairground, exploring the concepts with their actions…. The book is full of motion….”
Quill & Quire
 
 
“…Becker, a Toronto author, capitalizes on the traditional rhyme’s natural beat, but also adds concepts like opposites and prepositions to the lively text…. [Ron Lightburn’s…] work infuses the night with motion, colour and excitement that perfectly complement Juba’s magical adventure.”
The Chronicle Herald
 
 
“…The brightly coloured illustrations are vibrant and evocative of a dream-like experience. The young boy and his mysterious cat are connected by colour since the boy has a yellow collar and cuffs on his red pajamas, and the cat's fur is yellow. The fairground is bursting with colour with yellow and blue fireworks exploding overhead, purple and green curtains in the House of Mirrors, multi-coloured toys as prizes and swirling bluish shapes on the roller coaster. The fun-filled fair is a delight for the eyes of readers as well as the intrepid pair. Juba This, Juba That could definitely be used as a read-aloud for children at home and with students in primary classrooms. Becker's story will inspire discussion about issues as far ranging as dreams, rhythm, rhyme, opposites, fairs, dancing, mirrors, roller coasters and friendship.”
—Recommended, CM Magazine
 
 
“…Becker also has fun with the use of opposites and prepositions, and children can easily be encouraged to come up with their own rhymes to fit the pattern. Lightburn's illustrations are wonderful, rich and spirited, abounding in mystery and magic. This is a fun and engaging book that is a delight to share with others.”
Canadian Children’s Book Centre
 
 
“…The author chooses word opposites to set the tone for her interpretation of this traditional rhyming game. Children will soon be reading along and wanting to add their own two line verses. Your toes will be tapping and your head nodding as you share it with little ones. Ron Lightburn uses a palette of primary colors to bring light and life to the lively verses. His cool blues and gentle moonlight create a dreamy mood as the two make their way to the much brighter lights of the carnival itself….”
Sal’s Fiction Addiction
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
For a picture book, the number of words and repetition is more like that found in an early reader. The text is based on hand clapping games that originated in Nigeria. The game/songs traveled with the slaves to North America and became work songs. In this particular version a yellow cat leads Juba on a nighttime escapade. Together they head to a fair with rides, fireworks and interesting places to visit and have fun such as the house of mirrors. Juba and the cat dance and prance and see themselves as big, small, tall and fat. The ride on the roller coaster seems to be a bit frightening but Juba not only has a good time, it looks like he won a prize guessing the number of marbles in a jar. As he heads home he is sporting a balloon and cotton candy. Is it all a dream? The last illustration begs the question. Do not miss the book's jacket which converts into a poster. Ron Lightburn has created a nighttime book that is not the least bit dark even though it is dark outside. Much like Brian Lies, Lightburn has a way of using the light spilling from an open tent or white ghosts and a bright moon to make the nighttime scenes look bright. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-K—This modern-day version of a traditional African chant imagines an adventure that happens one evening when a dark-skinned boy follows a yellow cat to the fair. They laugh at their reflections in the House of Mirrors, take a spooky fun-house ride, and generally have a wonderful time before returning home to bed. Becker's simple rhyme plays with opposites and is just right for clapping and bouncing along. Lightburn's lively illustrations perfectly capture the joy of the nighttime escapade and extend the story. The boy and cat are set against backgrounds of diagonal streaks of cool colors that aptly convey movement and a sense of fantasy. This is a good choice for reading aloud to an active group of youngsters.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887769757
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 1,006,189
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Helaine Becker has written over 40 books, including the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, Looney Bay All-Stars series, non-fiction including Magic Up Your Sleeve, Secret Agent Y.O.U., and Boredom Blasters, plus many picture books and young adult novels. She also writes for children’s magazines and for television. She has been nominated for the Silver Birch Award four times and is the winner of two. Helaine Becker holds U.S. and Canadian citizenship. She attended high school in New York and now lives in Toronto.

Ron Lightburn is a Governor General’s Award-winning artist who has illustrated many best-selling picture books. His work has appeared on the covers of over sixty books and is part of the permanent collections of Library and Archives Canada, the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books, and the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy. Ron Lightburn lives in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.

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