I first became acquainted with Jasper John Dooley when I read an ARC of his most recent adventure, Lost and Found. I’ll be posting my review of that book after it is released on September 1st. My girls and I enjoyed reading Jasper’s story so much that we looked for some more of his books for the library.
Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week is a children’s book written by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Ben Clanton. This is a chapter book, but the language is fairly simple- I’d place it at about a second grade reading level.
Jasper is a young boy who goes to elementary school. As the story begins, he is preparing for his role as Star of the Week in his classroom. He will get to present something for Show and Tell, and he will get to do a science experiment, and he will even get to bring in a special snack.
At school, his Show and Tell is pre-empted by his friend Ori’s new baby. Jasper is very curious about babies, and wants one of his own, but he doesn’t appreciate being overshadowed. Things get even worse when the other children are not impressed by his lint collection.
Over the course of the week, Jasper learns about the importance of family, friendship, and what is really important in life. Adderson infuses the story with sweet humor that children and parents can relate to. There are also lessons to be learned: Jasper experiences setbacks, but he doesn’t give up.
I would recommend Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week. This would be a good book to read out loud for older preschoolers or kindergartners, and a great read-to-self choice for children in the first couple of years of elementary school. I also love the way this book features a little boy; there are so many books that have young female protagonists, so it is nice to see a little boy who isn’t necessarily wild or naughty like the boys in other books. I’ve already told several of my friends with boys my daughters’ age about Jasper, and I’m hoping that this review helps even more people discover Jasper. We are looking forward to reading more of Jasper’s books soon!