Story of Jumping Mouse

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Overview

Based on a Native American legend, this is the tale of a compassionate, courageous mouse who journeys to a far-off land and becomes a magnificent soaring eagle. "Beautifully written and illustrated."—School Library Journal.

Author Biography:

John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn. From early childhood, he drew pictures and told stories with them. He started work on Stevie, his first picture book, when he was sixteen, and Stevie was published three ...

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Overview

Based on a Native American legend, this is the tale of a compassionate, courageous mouse who journeys to a far-off land and becomes a magnificent soaring eagle. "Beautifully written and illustrated."—School Library Journal.

Author Biography:

John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn. From early childhood, he drew pictures and told stories with them. He started work on Stevie, his first picture book, when he was sixteen, and Stevie was published three years later to outstanding critical acclaim. Since then, he has written and illustrated many successful books for children.

John Lewis Steptoe, creator of award-winning picture books for children, was born in Brooklyn on September 14, 1950 and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of that borough. He began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was a student in the HARYOU-ACT Art Program and instructed by the highly recognized African American oil painter, Norman Lewis. He also studied at the Vermont Academy, where he was instructed by the sculptor, John Torres, and William Majors, a painter acclaimed by the Museum of Modem Art for his etchings and print-making.

His work first came to national attention in 1969 when his first book, Stevie, appeared in its entirety in Life magazine, hailed as "a new kind of book for black children." Mr. Steptoe, who had begun work on Stevie at the age of 16, was then 18 years old.

In his 20-year career, Mr. Steptoe illustrated 15 more picture books, ten of which he also wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a prestigious award for children'sbook illustration: The Story of Jumping Mouse in 1985 and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters in 1988. Mr. Steptoe twice received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, for Mother Crocodile (text by Rosa Guy) in 1982, and for Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters.

While all of Mr. Steptoe's work deals with aspects of the African American experience, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters was acknowledged by reviewers and critics as a breakthrough. Based on an African tale recorded in the 19th century, it required Mr. Steptoe for the first time to research African history and culture, awakening his pride in his African ancestry. Mr. Steptoe hoped that his books would lead children, especially African American children, to feel pride in their origins and in who they are. "I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people," he said, accepting the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Illustration, "I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great many others like me where I come from."

Mr. Steptoe frequently spoke to audiences of children and adults about his work. He was the 1989 winner of the Milner Award, voted by Atlanta schoolchildren for their favorite author.

John Steptoe died on August 28, 1989 at Saint Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. He was 38 years old and lived in Brooklyn. Mr. Steptoe was among the small handful of African American artists who have made a career in children's books.

The gifts of Magic Frog and his own hopeful and unselfish spirit bring Jumping Mouse finally to the Far-Off Land where no mouse goes hungry.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
This Native American legend features a small, humble mouse who yearns to journey to unfamiliar places and face new challenges. On his journey, he meets Magic Frog, a generous frog who gives him a new name "Jumping Mouse" and the gift of powerful hind legs. After using his strong legs to travel a long distance, the exhausted mouse meets a fat mouse and rests under a large berry bush for a while. One morning when a sneaky snake kills his friend, Jumping Mouse decides to continue his journey to the prairie, where he meets a blind bison. Saddened by the bison's story, the mouse gives his eyesight to the large creature and follows him to the foot of the mountains. Once in the mountains, Jumping Mouse meets a wolf who has lost his sense of smell. Feeling sorry him, the unselfish mouse takes his own sense of smell and gives it to the wolf. When the mouse finds himself all alone and frightened in the far-away land, he receives a visit from Magic Frog, who rewards him for his compassion and kindness by helping him become a magnificent, soaring eagle. Steptoe's detailed pencil illustrations truly make this magical story "jump" off the page!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688019020
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1984
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 423,970
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.12 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn. From early childhood, he drew pictures and told stories with them. He started work on Stevie, his first picture book, when he was sixteen, and Stevie was published three years later to outstanding critical acclaim. Since then, he has written and illustrated many successful books for children.

John Lewis Steptoe, creator of award-winning picture books for children, was born in Brooklyn on September 14, 1950 and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of that borough. He began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was a student in the HARYOU-ACT Art Program and instructed by the highly recognized African American oil painter, Norman Lewis. He also studied at the Vermont Academy, where he was instructed by the sculptor, John Torres, and William Majors, a painter acclaimed by the Museum of Modem Art for his etchings and print-making.

His work first came to national attention in 1969 when his first book, Stevie, appeared in its entirety in Life magazine, hailed as "a new kind of book for black children." Mr. Steptoe, who had begun work on Stevie at the age of 16, was then 18 years old.

In his 20-year career, Mr. Steptoe illustrated 15 more picture books, ten of which he also wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a prestigious award for children's book illustration: The Story of Jumping Mouse in 1985 and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters in 1988. Mr. Steptoe twice received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, for Mother Crocodile (text by Rosa Guy) in 1982, and for Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters.

While all of Mr. Steptoe's work deals with aspects of the African American experience, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters was acknowledged by reviewers and critics as a breakthrough. Based on an African tale recorded in the 19th century, it required Mr. Steptoe for the first time to research African history and culture, awakening his pride in his African ancestry. Mr. Steptoe hoped that his books would lead children, especially African American children, to feel pride in their origins and in who they are. "I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people," he said, accepting the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Illustration, "I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great many others like me where I come from."

Mr. Steptoe frequently spoke to audiences of children and adults about his work. He was the 1989 winner of the Milner Award, voted by Atlanta schoolchildren for their favorite author.

John Steptoe died on August 28, 1989 at Saint Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. He was 38 years old and lived in Brooklyn. Mr. Steptoe was among the small handful of African American artists who have made a career in children's books.

John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn. From early childhood, he drew pictures and told stories with them. He started work on Stevie, his first picture book, when he was sixteen, and Stevie was published three years later to outstanding critical acclaim. Since then, he has written and illustrated many successful books for children.

John Lewis Steptoe, creator of award-winning picture books for children, was born in Brooklyn on September 14, 1950 and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of that borough. He began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was a student in the HARYOU-ACT Art Program and instructed by the highly recognized African American oil painter, Norman Lewis. He also studied at the Vermont Academy, where he was instructed by the sculptor, John Torres, and William Majors, a painter acclaimed by the Museum of Modem Art for his etchings and print-making.

His work first came to national attention in 1969 when his first book, Stevie, appeared in its entirety in Life magazine, hailed as "a new kind of book for black children." Mr. Steptoe, who had begun work on Stevie at the age of 16, was then 18 years old.

In his 20-year career, Mr. Steptoe illustrated 15 more picture books, ten of which he also wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a prestigious award for children's book illustration: The Story of Jumping Mouse in 1985 and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters in 1988. Mr. Steptoe twice received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, for Mother Crocodile (text by Rosa Guy) in 1982, and for Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters.

While all of Mr. Steptoe's work deals with aspects of the African American experience, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters was acknowledged by reviewers and critics as a breakthrough. Based on an African tale recorded in the 19th century, it required Mr. Steptoe for the first time to research African history and culture, awakening his pride in his African ancestry. Mr. Steptoe hoped that his books would lead children, especially African American children, to feel pride in their origins and in who they are. "I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people," he said, accepting the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Illustration, "I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great many others like me where I come from."

Mr. Steptoe frequently spoke to audiences of children and adults about his work. He was the 1989 winner of the Milner Award, voted by Atlanta schoolchildren for their favorite author.

John Steptoe died on August 28, 1989 at Saint Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. He was 38 years old and lived in Brooklyn. Mr. Steptoe was among the small handful of African American artists who have made a career in children's books.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Little Mouse's adventure!

    This book was chosen as a Caldecott Honor book in 1985. It is appropriate for children ages 6-10. This book is a Native American legend and it teaches a great lesson about our differences. We also learn in this story the rewards that come through persistence. After hearing all the elders talk about the desert which was beyond the river, the little mouse couldn¿t wait any longer. He had to go see what this `desert¿ was like. The only problem is he didn¿t know how to cross the river. A frog asked him if he could swim. The little mouse replies, ¿what is swim?¿ You must read it to see how the little mouse¿s adventure progresses. John Lewis Steptoe, creator of award-winning picture books for children, was born in Brooklyn on September 14, 1950. Although he always drew as a child he received formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. In his 20-year career, Mr. Steptoe illustrated 15 more picture books, ten of which he also wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a prestigious award for children's book illustration: The Story of Jumping Mouse in 1985 and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters in 1988. John Steptoe died on August 28, 1989 at Saint Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. Steptoe, John. The Story of Jumping Mouse. New York: Mulberry Books, 1972.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    The Story of Jumping Mouse

    Jumping Mouse is determined to find a ¿far-off land¿so wonderful the young mouse began to dream about it. He knew he would never be content until he had been there.¿ One morning before the sun came up, he set off on his journey. First he came to a deep river that he didn¿t know how to cross. He saw a magic frog that said, ¿I name you Jumping Mouse.¿ When Jumping Mouse came upon a bison, he gave ¿the bison his own sight.¿ Then he gave a wolf his scent of smell. Being a very hopeful and unselfish mouse, will he ever make it to the far-off land? Through all of his sacrifices things are not looking good for Jumping Mouse. John Steptoe won a Caldecott Honor Book Award and an ALA Notable Book award for The Story of Jumping Mouse. John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950. As a young child he was drawing pictures and telling stories with the pictures. His first picture book Stevie was published when he was 18 years old, in 1969. Since then he has written and illustrated several children¿s books. Steptoe, John. The Story of Jumping Mouse. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1984

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    A Wonderful Story of Unselfishness and Caring

    Are you unselfish enough to give up your eyesight and your sense of smell for a stranger? Many would say no, but that is just what Jumping Mouse did in this story. This is a beautiful story about a small mouse who after hearing of a far off land knows that he will never be satisfied without seeing it for himself. On the way the little mouse meets several people with various problems, and recalling the help of the Magic Frog, decides to help them out. He ends us losing his eyesight to a bison and his sense of smell to a wolf. How will little Jumping Mouse every be able to make it the far off land of his dreams without these things, read this wonderful story to find out. The author of this book John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn. From childhood Steptoe has been drawing pictures and making up stories to go along with them, so his natural progression into children literature was really no surprise. He is the illustrator for fifteen picture books, ten of which he wrote as well. Mr. Steptoe has also won several prestigious awards for his work, along with the Caldecott Honor Medal that he got for this book, he has won the Coretta Scott King Award twice, and the Caldecott Honor Award for another of his books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    story of jumping mouse

    The Story of Jumping Mouse is a Caldecott honor book. The young mouse listened to the old ones tell stories about the desert that was just over the river. The little mouse couldn¿t stand it any longer he had to find out for his self. Once he reach the river he didn¿t know hoe he would get across. The frog ask him if he could swim and the little mouse said, ¿what is swim?¿ Join the mouse in his journey to see if he gets across the river. This book is suitable for grades 4-6. I enjoyed this book. The mouse finds he is different from everything he meets. This book allows you to see that not everyone is a like. This is a traditional story. This book is a native American legend. The author John Steptoe also illustrated the book. Steptoe was born in Brookllyn. Steptoe began work on his first book when he was 16 years old. Steptoe was only 38 years old when he died. Steptoe, John. The Story of Jumping Mouse. New York: Mulberry Books, 1972.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2006

    wonder tale of courage & following your heart

    This is a wonderful adaptation of a Native American folktale. Children (of all ages) will see that anything is possible even in the darkest moments, when you are a caring,kind & unselfish creature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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