Jump­ing Jenny

Ellen Bari; Raquel Gar­cia Macia, illus.
  • Review
By – August 31, 2011
Jen­ny loves to jump. She is con­stant­ly jump­ing over cracks in the side­walk and over fences with and with­out her pogo stick. Her jump­ing gets her in trou­ble in school, where she knocks over a box of cater­pil­lars in the sci­ence room and bumps into the hot lunch cart in the cafe­te­ria, splat­ter­ing mashed pota­toes in every direc­tion. Her jump­ing annoys her friends who make fun of her, her teach­ers who ask her to stop, and her moth­er who does not allow her to jump in the house. Jen­ny becomes a hero when her teacher sug­gests a mitz­vah project to help chil­dren in Ugan­da. Jen­ny decides she will jump 1,000 times with­out stop­ping and col­lects $1 a jump from her friends and fam­i­ly. The Jew­ish con­tent is min­i­mal, although one of the boys in the racial­ly diverse class wears a kip­pah, the Hebrew alpha­bet is dis­played on the black­board, and the teacher men­tions that their Ugan­dan project is a mitz­vah. The word mitz­vah is nei­ther explained nor trans­lat­ed. The book does not elab­o­rate on Jew­ish themes or val­ues. With­out the sin­gle men­tion of the unex­plained word mitz­vah” this book could be about any group of chil­dren, not nec­es­sar­i­ly Jew­ish chil­dren. The bright­ly col­ored full page illus­tra­tions are cheer­ful and enhance the sto­ry. For ages 3 – 7.

Read­ing Guide

Ilka Gor­don has a Mas­ters in Edu­ca­tion from Boston Uni­ver­si­ty and an M.L.I.S. from Kent State Uni­ver­si­ty. She is a librar­i­an at Sie­gal Col­lege of Juda­ic Stud­ies in Cleveland.

Discussion Questions