Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week

Anderson, Caroline. Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week.  Illustrated by Ben Clanton. 2012.  ISBN 9781554539895.

Jasper John Dooley, the quirky star of the week in this easy chapter book, collects lint and makes music by sloshing water in his belly.   After his teacher pins a star to his shirt each morning he gets to be the center of attention in a different way each day; show and tell  on Monday, family tree on Tuesday, etc.  Throughout the week he spends time with his best friend Ori, whose mom just had a baby.  As Ori and his family struggle to adjust to the new baby, Jasper wishes that he had a sibling.  Ultimately Jasper creates an imaginary brother out of wood, and this "brother" gets him into a few scrapes.  In the end Jasper realizes his family is just the right size.  This is a great book for young children who are proficient readers and it is rare to see a chapter book that is solidly in the kindergarten/first grade world.  Don't worry if these precocious young readers miss some of the jokes and even overlook the message - the message may trickle in later when it is needed.  As with the Junie B. Jones series, some of the humor is really aimed at the adult or older sibling, and that's okay.

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