My grateful thanks to Janet Popham for sending me a copy of her children’s book The Alligator Who Liked To Jump in return for an honest review.
Published by Olympia, The Alligator Who Liked To Jump is available for purchase here.
The Alligator Who Liked To Jump
Archie is an autistic alligator, who worries that being ‘different’ from the other animals will make him stand out.
Archie likes to jump and bounce but the other animals think he shouldn’t do this, until the wise elephant tells them that they should listen to Archie.
Archie finds it difficult to speak, but he manages to explain how he feels and makes the other animals understand him, so that they realise he isn’t all that different, after all!
A lovely story told in rhyme, for very young readers, different or not.
My Review of The Alligator Who Liked To Jump
Archie feels different to all the other animals.
What an utterly charming children’s book. Janet Popham has taken a highly emotive subject in The Alligator Who Liked To Jump and turned it into a story that all ages can relate to and in which they can find understanding of those who are different, or, in Archie’s case, autistic.
Through Archie’s words and actions in The Alligator Who Liked To Jump we are shown carefully how what could appear to be a temper tantrum or uncontrollable behaviour might simply be a frustrated child trying to express themselves, so that readers gain a greater understanding. Exploring the themes of tolerance, difference and the basic human need for friendship and company, The Alligator Who Liked To Jump gives a realistic and heart-warming narrative that I thought was brilliantly conveyed. The fact that Archie likes computer games and sport also helps exemplify that he isn’t so very different from the other animals after all.
The rhyme scheme is also a benefit when sharing The Alligator Who Liked To Jump with children because it helps them develop their own language use as well as provide a structure that will appeal to young readers who are themselves on the autistic spectrum.
The illustrations that accompany the writing are perfect because the range of expressions on Archie’s face provide brilliant talking points about how we convey emotions. The colours are vibrant and the images dynamic in style making for a hugely entertaining book.
I heartily recommend The Alligator Who Liked To Jump because it is written in an entertaining style by someone who obviously knows first hand the frustration of young children who live with autism. That said, any child would enjoy this book too.
About Janet Popham
Janet Popham is a primary school teacher, originally from Glasgow who now lives in South Wales with her husband and children. She is a mum to three children, one of whom is autistic.
You can follow Janet on Twitter @Janetpops for more information.
2 thoughts on “The Alligator Who Liked To Jump by Janet Popham”
This sounds like it could be a lovely companion to The Reason I Jump by Naomi Higashida but for younger children. Great to see more children’s books helping readers understand why autistic children may behave in ways they consider unusual. x
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Oh. I didn’t know about that one Claire. I think exploring ‘difference’ and similarities for children is absolutely essential.