Children love tricks. Don’t they? My little friend, on the way home from preschool, he often stops and asks me if I want to see his new tricks, which mainly involves jumping, kicking, spinning... spinning with kicking, and kicking with jumping. Then he proudly shows me his new tricks, so enthusiastic as if a professional gymnast would confide his new skills to his circle of close friends.
Children love watching a circus or clown shows like juggling balls (and clubs), power tumbling, hat tricks, and balancing on a rope, and of course swinging in the air. They laugh, they giggle, they are appalled, they hold their breath, they shout with joy, and they clap as hard as they can.
As he has always done, Brian Wildsmith brought another wonderful story to us: this time, one full of fun and amazing tricks by not clowns, but by wild animals in a jungle. In Jungle Party, the hungry Python announced a party and invited all jungle animals. First, the animals were skeptical of the sly snake’s invitation. But the Python promised that he would not hurt anyone at the party, and suggested a great idea for a party- the trick competition. Who would not love the party? And showing their proud tricks? So here goes a team of a Gnu, jungle fowls, and a chameleon. Jungle fowls stand on beaks on Gnu’s back, and a Chameleon catches insects. The audience says, “Not bad. Not bad.” A Hyena walks on 2 melons for 20 yards. The animals were very impressed. “That’s great. That trick will be hard to beat.” A Spotted leopard and 4 monkeys stand on their heads on the leopard’s back. The audience went wild, “Wow. These tricks are getting better and better.” A Pelican collects many animals in its beak. Then, the hungry Python says he can get more animals into his mouth than the Pelican. Everyone is too excited to be cautious... What will happen to them?
Animals and their tricks performances are rendered in Wildsmith’s magical colors, and the tricks are just fun and amusing. The responses of animal audiences make you giggle. Full of wit and zest, Jungle Party is another wonderful story children would love.
p.s. As you may have noticed, in the month of January, we are exploring more about Brian Wildsmith’s books here. What is your (and your child’s) favorite Brian Wildsmith’s book?