The Jungle Jam books are aimed at 0-5 year olds and were created by wife and husband team Louise and Noam Lederman who discovered a gap in the market for Early Years books relating to band music, musical culture and sounds, following the birth of their first child.
We were sent both of the Jungle Jam books for review. The first in the series Jungle Jam and the latest book Jungle Jam in Brazil.
The first thing I have to say is these books really stand out. The beautiful covers with vibrant colours and recognizable animals had my three year old jumping up and down and exclaiming “Oh my goodness!” (has she even seen Annie?) before we’d even cracked them open.
We started with the first book (radical, I know!) In Jungle Jam Mikey the Monkey wanders around the jungle meeting new animals who are playing different instruments. Mikey, however, is on a mission to become a singing sensation and so refuses all their offers of joining in. Until the end when Mikey sees all the other animals playing together and realises it’s much more fun to be in a band and play with his friends.
My daughter loved all the animals and took great pleasure in attempting to learn all of their names. She was introduced to some new instruments, like the saxophone- which she now keeps pretending to play, although it sounds very like her elephant impression.
Once we finished, to see if she grasped the lesson in the story, I asked her:
“What do you think Mikey the Monkey learned in this book?”
“About playing and instruments.”
“Very good. Do you think he learned anything else?”
“That he’s better with his friends.”
Well I can tell you that left me pretty gob-smacked.
It never fails to amaze me what a three year old can take in and absorb when they’re fully engaged by a book.
We moved on to the second and latest book in the series Jungle Jam in Brazil.
“Who’s your favourite?”
“Mikey, no- Ziggy, no- Larry, no-.”
You can guess the rest of that conversation.
Jungle Jam in Brazil follows the band, formed in the previous book, as they head off on their first gig abroad.
Gina the Giraffe struggles with the experience and all that it involves; like leaving home, meeting new people and trying new foods.
Gina was pushed outside her comfort zone but, with the help of her friends and bandmates, tried everything and enjoyed her new experiences.
What I particularly liked about this book was that it deals with emotions like fear, nerves and anxiety in a way that is very relatable for pre-school age.
The expression of Gina having “butterflies in her belly” was particularly well used and I feel my little girl would now have an appropriate term to express those feeling of nervousness or anxiety to me, should she ever need to.
“What do you think Gina learned in this story?”
“To be happy and to play with new friends.”
From the mouths of babes! I may be biased but I thought that was just the sweetest thing.
She also loved the ‘find the instruments’ game at the end of the book – so much so that we even did a role reversal where she asked me to find the instruments and praised my efforts;
“Good girl Mammy! Well done!”
What I like about these books:
- The rhyming in these books in great and works well to keep little ones interested – and it’s much more enjoyable to read out loud.
- The illustrations and colours are beautiful, bright and engaging.
- Animals and musical instruments are great characters and topics for triggering questions and imaginative play.
- The lessons learned in each book really come across to kids which, to be honest, is almost always the point but not always achieved by children’s books
I absolutely love the Jungle Jam books. They tick all the boxes in what I look for in books for my three year old and I can’t wait to read more of this series.
Three more are out this year so we won’t have to wait long. Jungle Jam in Spain is out in August, followed by Jungle Jam in Indian in September and the final book of the series Jungle Jam in the U.S in October. I will absolutely be adding them to our book collection.
I’d love to give some negatives for a ‘well-rounded’ review but the impact these books had on my three year old were nothing but positive and quite frankly there were no negatives.
That’s my opinion of the books but that’s not what really matters is it?
Here’s a little interview with my three year old daughter on what she thought of the Jungle Jam books:
Me: Did you like the Jungle Jam books?
3 Year Old: Yes. (Short and to the point)
Which one was your favourite?
This one. (Points to Jungle Jam in Brazil)
Why was that one your favourite?
Because I loved it. (fair enough)
Would you like more Jungle Jam books?
Yeah, about them going to get shoes maybe? (LOL!)
What books will we read before bed tonight?
Jungle Jam books!! (Serious sign of approval) – I need to go toilet! I’ll do more interview after.
Take your time, we’re done, great job! 🙂
Jungle Jam books retail at £5.99 and are available for purchase at www.jungle-jam.com – where you can also download some free Jungle Jam songs or have a look at the range of Jungle Jam toys. The books can also be purchased on amazon.com and waterstones.com.
We were sent these books for review and all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. Or in this case my three years old daughter’s.