Thursday 1 September 2022

Jack’s Jumper

Jack’s Jumper by Sara Acton (Walker Books) HB RRP $25.99 ISBN: 9781760654054

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Jack’s jumper is large and soft, and one arm is longer than the other. It once belonged to his brother, Paul. The jumper is perfect for wearing as a hat, playing hide and seek, and even dressing up as an elephant. But mostly it holds the memories of what Jack and Paul did together before Paul went away. One day, Jack’s cat pulls at a thread until the jumper unravels into a ‘pile of wool’. Before Jack has time to be sad, Paul returns … and he transforms the wool into something special for Jack.

Ideal for kids aged three to six, Sara Acton’s gentle narrative knits the joy of playfulness with the ache of missing someone in a story that is as warm as a brotherly hug. Universal themes are carefully threaded through the text, from overcoming anxiety to the power of the imagination, while simple word choices stitch in reassuring moments of familiarity.

The wash of watercolours and the meander of hand-drawn lines give Sara’s illustrations an organic fluidity that will appeal to young eyes. Light hues ensure that the tone remains upbeat, even when Jack’s precious jumper is ruined. Littlies will love the cat’s visual journey through the book, as she stalks the jumper and eventually claims it as her own.

Sweet and heart-warming, Jack’s Jumper is tranquil enough to read before bedtime. Within the covers of the book, kids will discover an idea that is more comforting than a security blanket: no matter what happens, everything will be okay.

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