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Jungle Jazz by Jo van Dam

Every night, while the Dung Beetles are jazzing and jiving and having a ball, Snake sulks under a rock. Poor Snake longs to be part of the band, but he has no thumbs to thrum or strum. He can't even hum!

One night he can't stand it anymore and decides to do something about it. A hilarious tale unfolds as Snake discovers his hidden talent.

Author Jo van Dam said the inspiration for this story came from watching a pied shag hunting for lunch in a local creek. That simple moment sparked this fun book, about friendship and working together to find solutions.

Van Dam is a librarian and it's obvious she adores literature and understands the importance of reading. The story flows easily and there's lots of unknown words to spark reader's interests - sulking, pucker, regurgitated. Van Dam also poses questions to the reader, providing the perfect spot to pause and reflect.

Illustrated by Deborah Hinde, there's lush jungle foliage and warm tones that provide the perfect backdrop for the band and creatures. Hinde always does such a wonderful job with animal characters and Jungle Jazz is no different. Each animal has character and style, with plenty of expression and emotion.

There's also a special feature within the back cover, with a flap revealing a surprise snakes and ladders board to play.

Jungle Jazz is a delight, with an upbeat tone, simple message and gorgeous illustrations.

Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell

PictureBook Publishing


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