Review of Jump In!

Jump In! Jump In!
by Shadra Strickland; illus. by the author
Primary    Bloomsbury    32 pp.
1/23    9781619635807    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781547603152    $13.29

It’s a warm day, and a diverse group of children in a city neighborhood heads to the playground, where “asphalt sizzles in wait, / ropes lie in the corner as bait.” One child calls out “Jump in!” and kids line up to show their jumping style. ­Beginning with the Delancey twins (a.k.a. “the Double Dutch divas”) and basketball aficionado Leroy Jones, each child brings their own flair as they answer the call. As the day continues, other members of the community jump in, including elder Ms. Mabel (“the queen of hopscotch since [she] was one”). Then “my turn at last!” The narrator finally “can put these schoolbooks down and play.” She hits the ­playground with her skateboard and shows how she jumps in. When the ­streetlights come on, it is time for everyone to jump out and go home. Brimming with energy, the colorful textured digital paintings enhance the ­rhyming text. Strickland ­captures the sheer joy found in community play.

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Eboni Njoku
Eboni Njoku is a children’s librarian at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library Branch of the DC Public Library.

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