Hola Mamas y Papas! I have another wonderful picture book for you and your little ones. Perfect for ages 3-5, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner is a wildly fun read about a little Siamese kitty with a wild imagination. Skippyjon is about adventure, imagination and making new friends. Winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, Skippyjon has a fun, sing song cadence that will entertain both reader and listener.
Skippyjon Jones is a precocious and rambunctious Siamese kitty with an overactive imagination. Sent to his room to think about what it means to be a cat (Skippyjon often prefers to imagine what it would be like to be a mouse, or a moose, or a bat, or a rat) Skippyjon sees his big ears and small head and realizes that he looks more like a chihuahua than a kitty! Off to the land of imagination Skippyjon becomes Skippito Friskito the Bandito. Travelling to the land of old Mexico through his closet, Skippito meets new friends, fights his enemies, and has a grand adventure! The book follows the classic home and away structure we often see in children’s literature for this age group. The interesting difference here is that ‘away’ is in the land of imagination!
As your child is entering his or her own age of imagination Skippyjon is a great role model for this new development. Like your child Skippyjon gets caught up in the magic of his own imagination. Skippyjon is an excellent book because it shows a child asserting his indepence and being supported as he does so. It is important to encourage and support your child as they assert their indepence and begin to explore their own imaginations. Doing so will give your child confidence rather than make them feel guilty for being a little bit…rambunctious.
Skippyjon explores themes of social justice and perseverance despite being afraid and having chattering teeth. Skippyjon steps up to the ‘bad’ character, a giant bee, and helps his new friends. Bad is punished and good is rewarded–the bean-stealing bee is popped like a piñata (in a non-violent way) and the gang rejoices at being able to make burritos again!
Another great aspect of this picture book is it’s Dora the Explorer-esque integration of Spanish vocabulary. Words like fiesta, muy, chihuahua, perrito and siesta (among many others!) are part of the story without being vital to its comprehension.
Extension Activity: Repeat the
songs in the book to get the timing of the ‘clap-clap’ memorized for an even more entertaining and engaging 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th reading. If you and your child enjoyed the Spanish language in Skippyjon go out and learn some more! Even a few words can be a fun way to introduce your child to another language:
If you like Skippyjon Jones and his adventures see the other books in the series. They are all a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy Skippyjon Jones and his adventures as much as we did in class today.