A little girl channels her exuberance and excessive pogo-stick jumping into a worthy fundraising venture.
Jenny is a born jumper. She vaults over fire hydrants, bounds over hedges and leaps over fences, but she isn't very careful about when her jumping might not be appropriate. Her teacher scolds, "Jumping is for frogs," when Jenny knocks over the caterpillar bins in the science room, and she is banished from the cafeteria after she upsets the entire hot-lunch cart. Much worse is the incessant teasing she attracts from her classmates, who croak, "Ribbit, ribbit," whenever they see her. "When did my Jumping Jenny become Slumping Jenny?" asks Grandma when she sees a forlorn-looking Jenny sitting on the stoop. Discouraged but still thinking positively, Jenny begins to develop an idea that will put her jumping talent to good use as part of her class "mitzvah project." Friends and family pledge to Jenny's jumpathon, to be held at the school's African village fair that's been to raise money for a Ugandan school. Acrylic-on-canvas cartoon-style paintings depict a Jewish day school, with boys wearing yarmulkes and Hebrew text on the board.
Bari's story of one girl's approach to the Jewish principle of "tikkun olam" (literally, "repair the world") will resonate as readers watch Jenny achieve her exhausting, triumphant success. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8)
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What a joyous, inspirational book! Should be read by teachers, parents and children alike as one can readily identify with Jenny's plight and serves as a great learning tool. I loved her spunk; how her "problem" turned into strength and how it ultimately helped others. You can't help rooting for Jenny as the story builds in excitement. As a psychologist and a mother, I can wholeheartedly recommend JUMPING JENNY.
Jenny was a jumper and "nothing made her happier." She jumped over everything from cracks on the sidewalk to Mrs. Fenster's picket fence. Her face would light up and a beautiful smile would cross her face as she went up in the air. Boing, boing, boing . she even had a pogo stick to bounce on, but not everybody thought her jumping was cute or fun. When she was in science class there were caterpillars galore all over the room when she knocked over the caterpillar boxes. The other girls "snickered" and Mrs. Jacobs angrily frowned and declared, "Jumping is for frogs." Jenny sure did have a slithering sliding mess of caterpillars to pick up. When she toppled the hot lunch cart in the cafeteria the mess was worse than the caterpillar fiasco. There were potatoes all over the floor and Ms. Cohen, who promptly pointed to the door and yelled, "These cafeteria catastrophes must cease!" Jenny's smile was gone and there was no hippety hoppity jump to her step any more. The other children began to poke fun of her by shouting "Ribbit! Ribbit! . Jumping is for frogs." Her grandma became concerned because jumping Jenny was sad because no one seemed to like her jumping. Not one little bit. Grandma hugged her and said, "But your every ounce was made to bounce!" The class mitzvah project was coming up and they would be raising money for their sister school in Uganda. Mmmm, could Jumping Jenny use her skills to raise money? Boing, boing, boing . This is a heartwarming story about Jumping Jenny who uses her "skills" to help out a good cause. Everyone has special skills, even if they aren't appreciated by everyone as Jenny soon found out. Her passion for jumping did eventually enable her "to make a difference in the world." The purpose of this book is to encourage children to do just that and Jenny's attempt to raise money involved challenging herself to jump 1,000 times on her pogo stick. In the author's note she briefly encourages children to participate in Tikkum Olam, which means "world repair," to make a difference by helping those around us. Quill says: This would be an excellent read and discuss book during circle or story time in the homeschool or classroom setting!
Jumping Jenny, the story of a child whose passion for jumping often got her into trouble, is charming and inspirational. Children will relate to Jenny's struggle and will think about how they can use their own gifts in a positive way. Parents and teachers will find the book a great opening for discussions about our differences as individuals and how these unique qualities, if channelled properly, are also our strengths. The story is an excellent tool to introduce the concept of making the world a better place and how each of us can participate. The illustrations are wonderful.