Just Imagine

The Giant Jumperee

Authored by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
Published by Puffin

When two giants of children’s literature come together, they’re bound to make something special and The Giant Jumperee does not disappoint.

Poor Rabbit returns home one day to find that his burrow has been possessed by a terrifying, unseen creature. He calls on his friends Cat, Bear and Elephant for help, who inexplicably all live alongside Rabbit in a picturesque English countryside setting. In the hands of another illustrator this might have been jarring, but Oxenbury’s beautifully detailed and whimsical watercolour illustrations create the sort of serene and joyful world in which everything makes sense and there’s always a happy ending.

Written mostly in prose, but with Donaldson’s trademark verse used for the Jumperee’s speech, the book reads aloud beautifully. Young children will be delighted by the funny ending, and parents or teachers will surely see themselves reflected in the hero of the story, Mummy Frog.

The Giant Jumperee is reminiscent of both Donaldson’s The Gruffalo and Oxenbury’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and is sure to please fans of both. It would be perfect as a class read-aloud from Foundation Stage up to Year Two, or for use in Guided Reading sessions.